As you may know, I have been having some trouble lately with my son and his not so stellar behaviour (if not you can read about it HERE). I am 100% sure if I had just him, things would be different. But I don’t. I have two dogs to take care of, and I have two ten month old babies to take care of, so I have to find a way that works for everyone.
I am happy to say that after about three frustrating weeks things are finally getting better. Here are some of the things I have been doing:
1. Time outs. If he does something bad like hit the babies or the dogs he gets a 2-3 minute time out. He is not allowed back until he can tell me what he did and why it was wrong.
2. I am learning to slow down. Not everything in life needs to be done in the hyper speed that I think it does. By slowing down to his pace he feels more comfortable and goes along with the plan more easily. Plus, then we can enjoy your time together instead of always rushing.
3. Have a sense of humor. Some of the things he does are more funny than anything if I would just give myself time to laugh at them. Yes, I am always juggling the three children but it doesn’t always have to be a circus. Plus, being serious all the time will give you wrinkles.
4. Live in the moment. If he was challenging in the morning that doesn’t mean he will be in the afternoon. But if I am already on the defensive in that frame of mind he probably will. You only get to leave each moment once right? Similarly, it’s one day at a time, etc.
5. Reward him with praise. I have always done this, but now I am really emphasizing the praise when he does something right.
6. Listen to him. Listening is one of the most important skills, yet we are all bad at it. They don’t teach it in school so it’s up to us as parents to teach it to our children. A new study showed that between birth and the age of five are the most crucial years in developing your child’s ability to listen. And I have been amazed at some of the things I have heard. He is a really incredible kid, something I have forgotten because I have been so focused on the challenge of life itself.
7. Be patient. It is so hard sometimes, but I just genuine myself to keep emotion out of the equation. Just be calm and cool. Breath is an amazing thing. A few deep focused breaths can really help you regain your focus.
8. Ask “why”. Instead of just saying no, I have been asking him questions instead. If he is behaving badly, I ask “what’s wrong” or if he throws a toy I will ask “why did you do that”. It helps us talk through the situation in a more neutral manner and helps me listen to him…and vice versa.
9. Distract. My son as the attention span of a three-year old. Who knew.? Sometimes a challenging situation can be easily diffused by changing the subject. “Oh look, it started raining outside”. And as he drops the toy and runs to the window, crisis is averted.
10. Thinking like a three-year old. Hey, if you have fun wearing your boots and raincoat in the house, go for it. You are not hurting anyone. Yeah, it’s a little messy, but kids are messy. If they weren’t there would never be pillow forts dress up right?
By no means have we got this figured out yet, but one thing is for sure, we are both a lot happier, which is all that matters at the end of the day.
Stay tuned for more adventures in the Game of Diapers.
- Why The Terrible Two’s Weren’t So Terrible
- Why You Are Never Failing As A Mother
- Working On Working Mom