By Leah Antovel
Let me set the scene. You are in a grocery store when your child, whom you love unconditionally, erupts into the dreaded temper tantrum. You break out the trusted “I’m ignoring you”, “scolding” or even the “bribing” tactic, but to no avail. You are frustrated, embarrassed and just trying to run a quick errand without it turning into a two-hour ordeal with a little one that refuses to negotiate. If you find this hypothetical scenario all too real, you’re in luck! I have some helpful tips to share with you that will preserve your sanity and leave your child more inclined to behave (a win-win in my book).
A Glittery Timeout
Unsuccessful time outs are nobody’s favorite. Putting your kids in a corner and waiting for them to calm down will likely only work a handful of time. Adding a fun component will lead to less wasted time. I suggested making a calm down jar and including your child in the creative process. Even better, making a calm down jar couldn’t be simpler. All you need is a bottle of any size (smaller bottles are ideal to stick in your bag when it’s time to run errands), water and lots of glitter. Have your child shake up the jar, and they will be allowed to come out of time out when all the glitter settles. When they calm down, be sure to kneel down to their level, ask them why they were upset and explain why their behavior was inappropriate.
Positivity and Strategy
Assigning chores can change the way your child perceives responsibility. Giving your kids age-appropriate tasks early on, combined with positive reinforcement, is a recipe for behavioral success. Also, instead of telling your child ‘no’, incorporate ‘yes’ into the equation. “No, you can’t have candy until you finish your chores” should be replaced with “Yes, you can have candy after you finish your chores.”
Psychic Them Out
Sick of repeating yourself? It might seem counterintuitive, but ignoring bad behavior can work to your advantage in some instances. If your child is doing something wrong, you can act like you don’t notice. Later on, bring up what they did as if you knew because of your sixth sense. They may see through this tactic, but there is a chance this harmless trick will result in your child behaving even when you aren’t around.