PARENTING

NO MORE TIME-OUTS @ mindful parenting

ow do some parents get it ‘right’, their kids don’t throw tantrums and they seem to have the best bond, is it just about having an easy kid or good luck? I want to share MY RECIPE OF SUCCESS which involves ZERO TIME-OUTS. Put in simple words it is called MINDFUL DISCIPLINE. I want you to know that this works with difficult kids, special needs’ kids, bad kids and easy kids. It is applicable to EVERY and ANY situation in your life with your child. It will MASSIVELY improve your relationship with your child, reduce your stress and improve your health all at the same time. It is easy and doesn’t require you to have any special training besides the WILLINGNESS to do it. It depends on how badly you want your relationship with your child to improve.

SUCCESS 1: No Time-Outs. You might think I am crazy, the whole world uses Time out! But that’s why the whole world is stressed and enrolled in Parenting groups ;) I want you to introspect. What is the purpose of punishment, disciplining or time outs? You want your child to learn something and stop repeating mistakes or wrong behaviour. Have your time outs done that so far? Time outs only  make children more ignored and more angry. The aim of a discipline is to calm a child and teach them a good lesson, time outs just don’t do that! How would we feel if our family members told us to sit away for 10 mins while either one or many people know that we are in time out. The emotion associated with it is feeling ignored, left out or ashamed. We want to teach kids in a POSITIVE way, not with NEGATIVE or ANY FORCEFUL FEELINGS.

SUCCESS 2: Acknowledge the child’s feelings before you do anything else. “I see how upset you are, how angry you feel. I am feeling angry too”. It is wonderful to show children that it is okay to feel negative emotions and that doesn’t make them negative. Emotions are not negative, actions are. Hence, if you want your child to regulate their anger, 1st teach them to RECOGNIZE those emotions at a go! It is almost like teaching a child to tell you when they are hungry. We are creating AWARENESS here and helping them connect to their inner self.

SUCCESS 3: Model. You cannot teach a child to calm down by screaming at them. They learn more by seeing than by hearing you. If you are pointing fingers and blazing eyes at them, you are TRIGGERING them more and more. If on the opposite you come from a NON-THREATENING STANCE – looking into their eyes with care and just silence and patience, you will get immediate positive results because that breaks down their WALL OF DEFENSE in an instant!

SUCCESS 4: DON’T RAISE YOUR VOICE if you don’t want them to. DON’T Threaten, judge, criticize or reject. Instead, CLEARLY TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO- “I want you to pick up your shoes and put them where they belong. I want you to do that every day on your own as soon as you come home from school. I may remind me once or twice until it becomes your habit. If I continue to see you ignore this, you may help me clean all of our shoes”. Did you see how simple this is. Instead of saying “How many times have I told you to keep your shoes in your spot, you just increase my work and are lazy!”If you were a child, which one will make you want to co-operate and change your behavior?

SUCCESS 5: Create productive solutions before hand for the child. May be a chart to remember that when we get angry, our body feels charged up, our hands feel more pressure and heart feels more aggression. To remove that aggression or to calm it down we can either punch pillows, go to our silent, safe spot, talk to our soft toy or use a stress ball. There are tons of wonderful instruments one can use like STRESS BALLS, SOFT TOY PUPPETS, PILLOWS, PUNCHING BAGS, SOOTHING PLANTS, etc to calm one down. Again, if you model that, they will pick it up without you having to TRY TRY and TRY.

SUCCESS 6: Stop judging and blaming your child and even yourself. Saying that “You are doing this wrong and you always do it and blah blah…” doesn’t help anyone. It only makes the child feel horrible, more angry, more defensive and it makes you more and more distant from your child. Creating a BOND IS SO CRUCIAL because in moments of distress, the bond that was built in good times will keep you and your child united. How much does your child trust you, how connected are you with your kids, is there an unshakable bond where NO ONE FEELS CRITICIZED, REJECTED and JUDGED. If so, you have learnt the most important lesson of parenting and life!

SUCCESS 7: Stop reading more and more articles and start applying the basic rules: SHOW LOVE, SHOW CARE and APPRECIATION with words, quality time, not with toys and expensive holidays. LOOK INTO THEIR EYES with genuine support at their physical level instead of standing tall and threatening them. Find solutions, not a way to blame and remove your frustration in some other healthy ways.There is a lot more I can talk about but I want to keep it as short and as simple as possible. Hope this helps. Please share your views and feel free to write me your troubles in parenting. What bothers you, what is hard about your parenting journey, how can I help you make it easier?#LoveHeals

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PARENTING

THE TEMPER TANTRUM MYSTERY SOLVED

When parents come to me frustrated – having ‘tried’ everything they could for their child’s TEMPER TANTRUMS, my heart goes out to them. Parents are innocent to the extent they do not know what is really happening. After knowing if parents do not take appropriate action then we can call it irresponsible behavior on the parent.

UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM BEFORE JUMPING TO THE SOLUTION

The reason why nothing works is because we have not understood the problem correctly or completely. Jumping to a solution without knowing the actual problem never brings results. So what is the actual problem when a child shouts, screams, stomps, acts stubborn? The problem is in the way we perceive the child’s behaviour. We believe the child WANTS to be difficult, needs that cookie or TV time and that’s why the child is wrong.

NO. 1

The truth is that the child is looking to fulfill another EMOTIONAL NEED through this behaviour. Not all children throw temper tantrums and anyone who sells you into the TERRIBLE TWOs idea is not completely right. Tantrums are a way for kids to express EMOTIONAL PAIN. It is an emotional wound. What would you do when your child had physically hurt, really badly? Would you not rush to soothe your child and do a remedy with ‘LOVE’ vs. criticizing?

NO. 2

Our children scream and shout because and only because they see OTHER ADULTS scream and shout, most likely one or more of their immediate care givers. We have taught our children that ‘shouting and screaming is THE WAY to solve problems’. It is not their fault. They are only imitating us! Think again before you show them CARTOONS, NEWS, TV SHOWS that portray VIOLENCE and POWER as a means of problem solving or ‘winning’ over the good or the bad.

NO. 3

It is human nature to scream or shout when one feels overwhelmed from the situation. It is the ultimate height of frustration.

Children get frustrated because they feel misunderstood. They do not have words in their mental dictionary to recognize and say – “I am stubborn for the cookie because IN REALITY I am feeling LONELY or UNWANTED…” It is for US to understand what the underlying emotional need is. Maybe they were ill-treated in school or they feel criticized by other adults. Maybe they feel rejected or simply miss spending time with us and our personal attention. Have you been way too B-U-S-Y lately?Maybe they are being ‘abused’ in some way. We are their only support. Please let us understand our children. A child who regularly or often throws temper tantrums is in IMMEDIATE and URGENT EMOTIONAL NEED.

NO. 4

We must accept that we throw tantrums as well! If we don’t accept our mistakes and improve, neither will our children. We shout, scream, get angry at our children and others. Even if we don’t anger our kids, they watch us communicate with others. They learn by seeing us with others as well.It could be that you are facing tough situations at home, at work or through your in-laws. That is understandable and yet, it is our duty to get support for ourselves so that we can raise children in a stable manner. Some ways to VENT out our frustrations and anger are: Pen it down on paper, talk to a friend who will be non-judgmental, take coaching or counseling sessions (very helpful), play sports and exercise, improve eating and sleeping habits, discuss with your family members how they can improve and support you, move out of highly stressful situations or jobs, etc.

Going to counselor or a coach does not mean something is wrong with you or that you will be ‘CORRECTED’. It means that you deserve UNCONDITIONAL and NON-JUDGEMENTAL SUPPORT and CARE along with expert advice.

 

 

No. 5

Take time out. Understand yourself. Be observant. When your pressures are rising and you are about to hit the frustration mark, let your kid/s know that you are feeling ‘OVERWHELMED’ and need to calm down before you continue the conversation (no matter how imp., take a break!). Tell them that you will come back to them once you are able to calmly talk to them.

Same for your kids. Encourage your kids to take time off saying that it will help YOU understand THEM better when they are calmer. They can choose their CALM SPOT in the house beforehand and a favorite soft toy or God to talk to. Allow them that silence and even privacy if needed (Make sure they don’t lock rooms or other adults don’t go after them).

 

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No. 6

Attending to our kids doesn’t mean bowing down to all their needs. And an angry child doesn’t mean a child who wants to be DIFFICULT or MEAN.

Do you shout at your child because you enjoy being difficult, mean or harsh? If your answer is NO, same applies to your child. Children don’t want to ‘get into trouble’. Nobody likes being criticized. They are in serious emotional help and if their IMMEDIATE care givers cannot give them the sense of security, who will? As parents, we are the epitome of a SECURE WORLD FOR THEM. If they don’t get it from home, they will never get from anywhere!

On the other hand, let’s say your child is truly ‘out-of-hand’. That your child truly wants to manipulate and ‘get things out of you’. Yet, once again here you the parent have set that behavioural theme at some point. The child has LEARNT that I can get things out of my parent/s if I cry, throw fits, etc. Once again the problem is not with the child but with the parent who thinks “Jaane dete hai. Bechara bahut ro raha hai”. This is the ‘Easy way out approach’.

In reality, often times you don’t want to give in to the child but it is easier than dealing with the drama. If you could stay firm yet polite means clearly state, repeat and then stay silent with the same ‘mantra’, it would help you send the right message to your child.

E.g. – “No matter how you show me your anger, it is not T.V. day today.. However, I would love to spend 10 mins. (or more) of hide and seek (or anything you like) with you. I miss it so much. Tell me when you are ready for it. I will wait for you in my room until then”.

No. 7

In our original Hindu Scriptures it is clearly written that not only should children respect elders but elders must ALSO respect those younger to them. It is also stated that when an elder person is wrong, a child has the right to correct them. These shlokas are said out during pujas like Satyanarayan puja and if the pujari is wise, he explains it too!

It is sad that our culture today only teaches and even FORCES kids to RESPECT adults and by respect they mean – “Never correct your adults”. On Janmashtami Day I want to spread this message. Lord Krishna is our perfect example who has taught us that wisdom does not come with age in one birth, it comes with the age of the Soul which can be way wiser than any adult and that one must also stop adults with wrongful behaviour/s.

I hope this helps! There is a lot more about Anger Management and Tantrums but this is the basic, most important foundation to it!

Image Courtesy: Google images

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