Have you ever had that feeling that after you have talked about someone, that they know it? They start acting different, like how you want them too act? Like they were watching or listening to you and now trying to prove everything that you said about them is wrong. Have you ever told someone how bad your kid is, only for them to act perfect?
Well, that is how I feel about my daughter!
Last week I wrote about how trying she was being and asked for advice, and I got some good advice! If you missed it, check it out before reading any further! Thank you to all who offered your help! That is what we are all here for right?
Advice I received
I was recommended a new book which is on order and I am so excited for it to arrive. It is called “Raising your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed.D. This book was written to help parents identify their strong willed child’s’ strengths and learn how to handle the intensity that comes with the behaviors of these strong willed children. This is just what I need! I can’t wait for it to arrive!
In the meantime, I received some amazing advice from a cousin who has years of experience dealing with children who have behavior issues. Some of the tips were things I felt like I had been trying and failing at. I gave them another try anyway! Keep reading to see what I have tried so far and how it worked!
Ignoring the Fit
I have always tried to not interact with the kids when they threw a fit. Especially if I knew it is for some ridiculous reason. Here lately though I have been convincing myself that something else was going on. Maybe they were not feeling well, maybe they were just tired and needed some cuddles. Worse yet, I would give in because I was so exhausted from the day or week. I just needed the fit to stop so I could think for 3 seconds! How many of you have been there?
This last week I did things different. When our daughter would throw a fit at my feet, I would turn and walk into the other room, or step over her to get to the other side of the room. Often, these fits occured in the kitchen while I was making dinner. When I started ignoring her fits, they got louder. She wanted to make sure she was heard. However, when she noticed I was not paying attention, she would lift herself off the floor and go to her room and cry for a minute. Then moments later she would return to me and say “I done” and hug my leg. I would then acknowledge her and explain why that behavior was not ok.
I am still working on this method, and sometimes it works better than others. So far it has been fairly successful though and allowed for me to communicate with her when we are both calmer and she is willing to listen!
I did this with my son and I am not sure when or where things went different with my daughter, but options are great. I would ask what the kids wanted for dinner and it left the chance for them to want EVERYTHING! Yogurt, pancakes, waffles, ice cream… You know, all the things that are not normal dinner meals! Instead, when our son was younger I would ask, “hot dog or chicken nuggets”, or whatever the the choices were. That was what he got to pick from and he was happy to make such a big decision. Somehow, I strayed away from this when our daughter became big enough to eat with bubba.
So this last week I have gone back to this method when they were not eating what we (the parents) were eating. Giving them two options allowed both kids feel like they had the final choice. They were delighted to get what they wanted and dinner fits seized this week! Now, we will see how long we can go with this method. We are also working on introducing them to eating what my husband and I eat more often. This will, I am sure, cause some unwanted fits as they may not like what we eat, so adjustments will be needed.
With siblings there are always battles over toys, what show to watch, whose turn it is… you get the picture. These disagreements are no different at any age. I used to make the kids go to time out or just let them try to figure it out, which just lead to more tears and screams! One of the things that my cousin told me was that a parent had tore up paper and would throw it all on the floor and make her kids pick it all up and they couldn’t do anything until it was all picked up. When they had it all picked up their minds had switched to something different. What they had been fighting over was no longer on their radar.
While I am not against tearing up paper, I have not had time for that and luckily have had plenty other things for them to pick up! When the kids start to fight over a toy or whatever they feel the need to at that point, I make them clean up their toys. Usually they have then scattered across the down stairs at any given time, so they are occupied for at least 3-5 minutes! By the time they have them all picked up, they have found a different toy that they want to play with and they are content.
This has been a great way to keep both kids from having complete meltdowns and keeping my house a little cleaner throughout the day or evening! WIN-WIN!
Still Figuring it Out
While these have worked for me this past week, I am still interested in ways that other parents find successful in handling their children and the fits. Please comment below with your tips and tricks to parenting these strong willed children!
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