Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday Tips for Mum - avoiding tantrums

I had a couple of practical tips that I was going to write about today, and link up to Kimberly at Raising Olives. But as I was hanging out cloth nappies this afternoon, one particular thought kept running through my head, and it was about poor behaviour in young children - and mine, in particular!

It occurred to me that I have been seeing Naomi in one particular position recently - flat on her back, making whingey noises, crying. **Lightbulb moment** These are classic tantrums!

One of the best pieces of advice that I can give to mums of young children is to remember that MOST bad behaviour stems from a few basic issues. The child is usually one (or more) of:
  • Tired;

  • Hungry;

  • Out of their usual routine; or

  • Out of their comfort zone.
I find it helps me to keep my patience with the whining, crying, disobedience etc, if I remind myself to look for the cause, instead of just getting frustrated with the result.

If Naomi misses her nap, or has an early sleep, you can bet that by 3pm she would try the patience of a saint (and, as you know, patience is not a virtue that I possess in great quantities).

If she is hungry, there is the constant nagging and nagging and nagging (...) for something that she knows is a treat, or that I have already said 'no' to.... a million times.

I also found that, when we had daycare children coming into our home, Naomi needed to have regular intervals during the day when she could play by herself for 10 minutes. If she was constantly crowded, or having toys taken away, games interrupted by other children, etc, that was when she started biting (gulp. Yep, she was a biter. Thankfully, no longer an issue).

So my real tip here is to figure out the things that CAUSE the difficult behaviour in your kids, and try to avoid those situations. Do your best to encourage sufficient sleep, at the right time of day. Schedule regular meals and snacks, and try to get them to eat enough at meal times to avoid the hunger pains in between times (at least until they are old enough to open the cupboard door and get their snacks themselves!!).

With the coming of our sweet Ryan, (now 12 weeks old!), our home routine has been thrown out the window. The consequence has been a serious back-slide in Naomi's behaviour. But tomorrow is a new day - heck, the next hour is a new hour! If I try to get back to basics and have regular meals and naptime, hopefully we can pull things back together around here, too.

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