Remember: The best way to change your child’s behaviour is to change your own behaviour. All the best strategies involve setting routines, rewarding the behaviour you want to encourage, avoiding confrontations and modelling the behaviour you want to see in your child. Continue reading →
Personality traits observed in childhood are a strong predictor of adult behavior. A study was conducted on data from a study of approximately 2400 ethnically diverse elementary school students in Hawaii in the 1960s, comparing personality ratings by teachers at the time with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals forty years later.
Successful parents move gradually to a sort of “automatic pilot” style of caretaking. Their children learn to regulate their own behavior, generally make good decisions without parental interference and ask for help only when they need it. Continue reading →
We’ve all witnessed a child (sometimes our own) in full meltdown mode, as well as the tantrum that inevitably accompanies it.
It can happen anywhere — like the grocery store checkout line — at any time. All you really want to do is quickly end the fit so your child calms down.
As firsthand parents gets puzzled as to how to respond to tantrums — especially given how much misinformation there is about why children throw fits.
What is a tantrum?
There is a huge misconception that tantrums are your toddler’s attempt to manipulate you into getting what he or she wants. While this might be true in a very small number of cases, I can assure you that
developmentally, your toddler isn’t cognitively sophisticated enough to intentionally manipulate you.
After you have identified what triggers challenging behavior in your child, you can use that information to respond more positively to your child’s needs. Here are some tips for how to get started:
Change something from scene:
Change the room, activity, or people involved, so your child feels supported. For example, if your child becomes over-stimulated when playing games with her friends, you might recommend she limit the number of activities going on at one time (“Why don’t you turn off the TV while you’re playing your game?”) or try a different activity (such as painting or playing outside).
You know the drill: Your child is screaming at you, ignoring you, being irresponsible or hurtful. Suddenly, you’re yelling at the top of your lungs, matching him decibel for decibel. Later, you think, “Why did I fly off the handle again? I’m so tired of letting him push my buttons so easily.”
Yelling is a natural response when your kids are rude, not listening, engaging in irresponsible behavior or treating you poorly—or in any other situation that triggers your emotions. Even though you know it would be better if you could stay calm, it’s hard to always do that emotionally. Or you may even argue that yelling and making our kids afraid of us worked when we were growing up, so why shouldn’t we do that today?