First off, let me say everyone has their own family dynamic, and what works for us may not work for you. I am merely here to tell you what works well for me and my husband with our family dynamic.
I was always one of those parents that would tell my child to quit crying unless they are bleeding or something is broken. However, after I had three kids and started to see three different personalities and three different stages (ages), I decided to do some research.
After listening to some podcasts, reading articles, and having some conversations with my husband, I decided to take on some new ways of thinking. I believe due to our newer way of parenting, our children have been able to feel safe with us (emotionally) leading them to open up and communicate with us more.
Here are a few ways I interact with my children when they behave inappropriately in certain situations. (Behavior is communication, even negative behavior. When children “misbehave” they are trying to communicate something to the parent/adult who doesn’t quite speak “Toddlerese” yet!):
Number 1 … Listen- I listen to my children: give them time and space to tell me what’s bothering them, allow them to search through the feelings they are having or the emotions that are making them lash out. Sometimes when they are able to calm down and talk about it, they find out how silly they are acting or feeling. Sometimes it is amazing what comes from their mouth when we allow them to talk openly. During this time I will sit quietly next to them allowing them to process.
Number 2 … Positive Encouragement – Something I strive for is constantly catching my kids when they are doing things right! I focus on the positive, and tell them they are doing well, being good kids, and really impressing me. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we only react to our kids when they are acting out or misbehaving.
Number 3 … Interact – Interact and play with your children. Between work, life and social media, we don’t interact and play with our children as much as we should. Sometimes that means that you will need to designate time, and tell yourself you will focus on them during those designated times. For example: after dinner, my girls get a bath, and then every night, I will lay with them in bed, and read. Anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the day and night. The girls love knowing every night we have that routine. When my stepson is home, and my husband is not, I intentionally put the girls to bed a little bit earlier, and then spend an hour or so with just him. Sometimes he has to read for school, but I will still go and be next to him or in his room. Usually if he is reading I will read too. Even though we aren’t necessarily talking to each other, I am still there with him, allowing him access to me if he wants to talk or play. There are times my kids act out, and for no reason other than wanting to play with me, or have some of my attention.
Number 4 … When none of the above work, most times we will resort to talking to the child about what they believe a fair punishment is for the actions that occurred. Normally we have to give them a few ideas and they tell us which one they think is fair. Removing a toy for a certain amount of time, extra chores or missing out of certain fun activities.
When in doubt I give them a little more love and most of the time that fixes the problem.
Look for my future post: Why does my Stepson lie?
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|This is J and Kennedy’s favorite picture together!
We were at Home Depot and they decided to use the potties!
Jade San Nicolas
I have been listening to the podcast with Dr. Kevin Leman for a few months now and I am always grateful for the information he provides! Check out his book for some tips and strategies ❤