Challenging Behaviour: Or learning?
From being very small children are finding their way in the world. They rely on us adults to provide security, guidance and reassurance. Easy right?!
There are lots of books and magazines on the market, providing tips on parenting, so many in fact, its confusing and can be conflicting information. Grandparents, friends, other parents, they all have lots of advice. Argh! Huge learning curve all round.
The fact is all children are unique and individual, therefore, there isn't a book about your child, or you as a parent. Yes general information is a good starting point. Children from a young age understand how to push the boundaries and in some cases manipulate their parent. We've all been there, when your baby cries for no apparent reason. They've been fed, changed, talked to, sang to, you've tried everything and they are clearly well. Maybe they're over tired. They reach a point when they don't know themselves what it is that they want/need. At this point, its often good to put them somewhere safe and walk away for a minute or two, just to break the cycle.
Don't you just love the advert in the supermarket, when the toddler is about to throw a tantrum, possibly for the tenth time that day!? Only to be beaten to it by the parent, who throws herself on to the floor screaming with the toddler looking on, confused. Brilliant ha.
Children learn by our response. If we say no, and they ask again, then we give in. We are teaching them that perseverance will win in the end, and that no means maybe! We really are our own enemy at times, but hey we've all been there, as sometimes we just want an easy life.
When children are occupied, doing something that interests them, they are happy and content and more likely to conform and do as you ask. (Teacher in me!) It can be a different story when its time to put your coat on and leave. Oh my! You know, when you're in a hurry, because you've just realised the time, so you don't have time to give them that 5 minute warning (That sometimes works) This is when your sweet little cherub can turn into a monster. the 5 minute warning can make all the difference.
In my experience, it pays to be prepared. Leave time to give that 5 minute warning. Take a bag of goodies that you know will interest them, because it contains their favourite train (This works to distract our 14 month old grandson) Do they have a favourite toy, colour, book, snack.
I make packs for individual children, especially made, containing items that interest them. This is quite easy to do. Any bag will do, as long as it is personal to them. Add their favourite book, toy, snack. Take it with you wherever you go e.g. to the park, shops, doctors, travelling, visiting. It might not work every time, but I guarantee it will work most of the time. keep it interesting, by adding something new and exciting to discover. I am happy to help with ideas.
Being a parent can seem at times like one of the hardest job in the world!
Remind yourself often, what a great job you are doing <3
Happy parenting you lucky people