3 Parenting tricks that can stop meltdowns with your kid
I know, if you’re a parent, you’ve always stared at your sleeping kid’s face to wonder what went through that moment of the day that turned him/her into an invincible, destructive monster. The guilt of having yelled at your child is unspeakable & the retrospection over why you couldn’t calm his/her tantrums down is something that most of us, as parents, cannot fathom. The internet is filled with thousands & millions of parenting tricks spanning over forums & groups we all are & have been part of. But how many of them actually work with your child?
Well, not very surprisingly, but each child is different. Even children from the same parents who share a common DNA have highly differing personalities & temperaments. Shockingly, I was an unusually ‘ideal’ kind of a child who hardly got reprimanded or scolded by parents. My mother still remarks my childhood as one that would inspire parents to have at least another 5 kids. I, apparently, made parenting seem like a breeze for Mom & Dad. And now I have a child who can almost be regarded as the toughest level to qualify for the parenting ‘test’. Hence, I have absolutely no virtual parenting prologue that I inherited from my parents. Because, that just doesn’t work for my child.
And that’s why even before I begin to share my own discovery of parenting tricks that most often work for my 5 year old, I’d want to assert that you study your child’s behavior & response pattern to be able to apply these for yourself.
Honestly, I wouldn’t say these parenting tricks yield me a 100% success rate. But, certainly for every 4 instances of my daughter’s tantrums, these help me get her into either the ‘listening mode’ or the ‘negotiation mode’ at least 3 times.
So here are 3 reasonable ways to save yourself from having meltdowns with your child:
1. Appreciate & Empathize
Seriously, this didn’t come to me naturally for the first time. Until my daughter was 3+, I barely faced any challenges while handling her ‘tantrums’. It’s only when they start becoming heavily verbose as they grow & pick arguments while seeming difficult to settle over a solution. Sometimes, telling them consequences becomes nearly impossible as their yells & shrieks don’t even let you talk to them.
I only lost patience, yelled back at my kid & walked away when she started blowing up all frenzy in public places. That just made me look as if I were pleading to her to fill my embarrassment quota of the day.
And if not for my husband, I probably would have never stopped having wars with her till today. I must say, he’s a better parent than I. It’s just that he doesn’t write a blog like me. 😉 He made me realize with examples of how to get a ‘tantrum’-ing kid listen to us.
Begin to appreciate your child by specifically reminding him/her of times when he/she behaved well, has kept calm or extended help to you. Instead of saying, “You ALWAYS do this & I’m tired of it! I shall not take you to the park/ never play with you!/ You’re such a bad boy(girl)”, saying something like, “I understand you didn’t like that I didn’t buy you this candy/ this is a pretty boring homework, but I just think we both could get/make something much better & interesting out of it. Only if we both could talk” would be effective.
I can tell from experience that such statements will at least assure your kid that you empathize with his/her condition or reason for upset. That makes him/her feel important & thus sets the tone for a much soft conversation; the course of which you can decide as you learn what your child wanted & how you could further divert his/her unwanted desire. If it’s for a ridiculously expensive/useless toy, this way, you can convince your child to expect something handmade or more creative at home. Now, of course, your involvement is equally important. And as time unwinds you can explain why spending money on irrelevant stuff is a stupid choice.
2. Share your own Stories
As much as story-telling, children love & subconsciously appreciate honest parents who don’t make them feel ‘fooled’ for each & everything.
There’s nothing wrong in narrating your own silly mistakes from childhood to your child. In my opinion, there could be no better way of teaching right from wrong than your own faults in the past. This way, you not only make your child feel like your confidante, but also elevate your stature as a mentor in their eyes. For instance, when your child is mad at you for disallowing something that he/she loved having, you could pacify him/her with a “I know it feels so nice to have that. Because I felt exactly the same when I were about 4. But then, (state/make up some nasty consequence)”. I do that while telling her about me consuming junk food in my childhood.
My kid registers every such story I’ve honestly shared with her that led to unpleasant situations in my childhood & so far, treats them as a preamble in similar scenarios. She often reminds me of them during times when I least expect her to remember them at all.
3. Prepare them for the Worst
One of the most unusual parenting tricks I discovered very early is that preparing children for obvious & unavoidable situations helps making things smooth.
Children are always intuitive about parents fooling or shocking them all the time. Most of our previous actions make them visualize us as their rivals; add to that the generation gap.
So instead of brainstorming over ideas to fool or inevitably lie to them, if you’re aware of a consequence you dread they will hate or resist, start preparing them well in advance.
For example, I had a time when my child was about 3.5 years old & we planned a trip with my parents, at the end of which she had to stay with them for a brief period & only I with my husband would fly back to our home. We knew that it would be a hard thing for her to learn that suddenly at the end of the trip & she’d go horribly tough on all of us.
So, I kept telling her the plan almost a month before the scheduled trip while pepping her for the excitement our itinerary had. That way, although she wasn’t happy with us parting from her for a short time, she was convinced that it was temporary & we’d be back to our routine very soon. So no tantrums at the airport! 😀 And I do this even now with any unwelcome but inevitable plans we need to make.
Well, this could also apply to your kiddo’s vaccination appointments.
By the way, I’d never call myself a parenting expert but yeah, these parenting tricks have worked fantastic for all of us & I’m glad I learnt them some way or the other.
Do you have your own good list of parenting tricks? Oh please, I’d love for you to share with me in the comments. And if you find my parenting tricks helpful, please tell me about that too! 😀
Sponsored by FirstCry Intellikit, Instacuppa, Diet Funda, Hugs n tugs, Tina Basu, Unorthodoxpeeps, Lotus Herbals baby & Shumee toys.