Parenting tips, everyone has some, they do not work for everyone, and finding the happy balance is what matters. Along the way we have discovered a few tidbits of parenting practicality that are working. Whether through reading or friends, we are finding success, well most of the time. I am not the inventor, but surely the sales person.
Tidbit #1 – H.A.L.T. – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
This response dives into the reason for misbehavior, whining, or passive behavior. When confronted with an upset child, ask, ” are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired?” I am always amazed at the responses, and how often times, the behavior in question is easily remedied. Our 3 year old often responds “hungry”. Good, let’s go get a snack. At 5, our oldest better communicates the true reason for his change in behavior. It is easy to overlook a feeling of loneliness and how amazingly a cuddle cures the blues. Often, validating the feeling is all it takes.
Tidbit #2 – “Stop and smell the roses, blow out the candles.”
We all get angry, mad, or upset. Sometimes all three! How parents confront these feelings inevitably will be the child’s reaction. When these feelings are beating us down, take a minute to, “stop and smell the roses, blow out the candles”. As a HS teacher, I periodically find myself mentally reviewing this statement and attempting to blow out a massive roman candle. Once the smoke clears, I do feel better. Our oldest likes to huff, puff, grab his forehead, and spit blow out a calming candle. As corny as it sounds, the results are well worth the mental embarrassment at first.
Tidbit #3 – A Bug and a Wish
Recently we attended our son’s kindergarten parent/teacher conference. His talented, dynamic teacher shared that kindergarten is full of he said/she said tattling. Funny, so is our house! With a sassy 3 year old and know-it-all older brother, we live it every day. The teacher is modeling with the students “a bug and a wish”. AKA – “It bugs me when _____________. I wish ___________.” Being 3 and just learning to communicate her feelings, our middle one often responds, “it bugs me when you bug me. I wish you would stop bugging me!” Hey, it’s a start! In response to tattling, all I need to ask is, “did you say your bug and a wish?” Today, the often in your face 5 year old, went up to his sister and said, “It bugs me when you tell mom. I wish you would stop tattling on me.” It will go down as progress as my intervention was nothing more than, “a bug and a wish?”
Again, I take no credit for the creation of these WONDERFUL parenting, teaching strategies. I am only the messenger. Parenting is a collaboration of resources and ideas, together we can raise more confident, independent children. PASS IT ON