When it comes to parenting, consistency needs to be considered in every aspect of a child’s life. Even from the time they are infants so that they understand the boundaries even if it isn’t immediate. They’re still growing and as such, they test everything All the Time! Everyone in your child(ren)’s life must be consistent about the rules and routine or else anything outside of that may disrupt your child’s behaviour. There are things that may not be expected especially when they’re teething but the top things to consider are:
Always have patience, loosing your cool with your child will not help no matter the situation. Raise your voice when you have to but you Must pick your battles. You cannot be battling a child every second, you and everyone around you will be exhausted! This could be difficult when you have more than one child but your older one(s) are the ones most lacking in attention and this is what they’re seek even if it is negative attention.
Potty training shouldn’t impact your schedule too much, if it does, find ways to include it outside the house. A portable potty or just keeping your child in a pull up won’t impact potty training overall. Just make sure you try before you leave the house and add it to your routine. This is will be in another post but rewards don’t always work, too be explained later. When it comes to discipline, you must be able to say no and follow through. Not following through and going back on your word shows that you don’t do what you say and your child will learn from it while.
Everyone in their life must be on the same page because if someone in their life says yes and you say no will greatly impact your authority. This is especially important during their toddler years when they’re going through the terrible twos. Terrible twos and teething last a LOT longer than people expect so don’t walk on eggshells, instead, stay firm and put their limitations in place so they know what they can and cannot do. Ask for advice and strategies BUT every parent AND child is different. While one strategy may work amazingly may not work for you so try it a few times, but have back up plans in place.
I have always avoided time outs as much as I could because children don’t learn anything from it. Child(ren) live in the now. If they have a time out, they might forget what happens after you go to them. Speak to them sternly in the “I” and in the moment, if you can. This is difficult if you’re on the move or in a public place but if you can, speak to them immediately. If you threaten to do something, do it. You might forget which is why I normally threaten with something easy.
Now, I’m not against time outs if it works but be aware your child may repeat the same action and face the same consequence. Instead, focus on their positive behaviour and redirect their misbehaviour. Wait it out IF you can. If you are using a room, make sure it is clear of toys because you’re leaving your child alone. What will they do when they’re inconsolable? Who knows!
Also, do NOT explain anything to them when they’re screaming and crying! Why? Because they can’t hear anything you’re saying. Unless you say ‘yes’, they won’t be able to listen. You will keep explaining to a wall. Wait! Give them time to scream and kick if you can. As long as they’re safe and not harming anyone, leave them be or do something that may eventually interest them. There are many things you can do but do NOT give in! They will remember this moment! Explain after they’re calm and ask if they understand and ALWAYS end with a hug and “I love you”. You are doing this for them, not for you! Remember that!
Kids may not be the most consistent beings when it comes to food but you can’t give up! You need to be the constant in their life as a parent because everything can change around them. Their mood can change in a second, but what you say and do HAS to be the same. A parent will always find an excuse for them NOT to do something – sick or teething – but find a way or else it may not happen.
Always show affection at the end of any explanation so that they know you’re doing it for them – whether it’s their health, safety or anything in between, your actions and words are grooming them for their future and you’re doing it out of unconditional love.
Strategies for each is going to be discussed in future posts.