I recently came across the article regarding ways to help children be optimistic and is definitely worth checking out!
Also last week I read about “children’s rights” and things adults take for granted in children. It listed things like how adults tickle random kid without asking (you wouldn’t do that to a adult or “gasp” a teenager), talking in baby talk (who actually likes to be talked to like that)?, and how things that are considered common courtesy to adults is not applied to children. It got me thinking of ways that I can be courteous to my child and other children.
These are some handy tricks I have found to help me with JoJo, hopefully they might work for you too!
-For example when I was pregnant I saw two small children playing, one yanked a toy out of the other kids hand and his mother reprimanded him for grabbing. It then occurred to me that most adults do just that….. if a child has something they aren’t supposed to have (even if they don’t know they are not supposed to have it) we tend to just grab it from them. So I then vowed to always ask JoJo for things and 90% of the time he is happy to hand it over. If he refuses I tell him “I have to take that from you” and do so but I always give him the opportunity to hand it over himself.
-Which brings me to “please” and “thank you”. I do my best to always say “please” and “thank you” and at 18 months I am proud to say JoJo does very well with both. His “thank you” sounds more like “tink too” but I know what he means, LOL! If he whines for something I remind him to not cry but to just say please.
- I didn’t make this one up but I intend on employing it as he gets older. Remember that dreaded “because I said so” from your parents? Ugh nothing makes you feel less adult then that. Growing up I had a neighbor who instead of saying “because I said so” would say “because I love you”. So if her kids wanted to go play at the park after dark and would whine “aaw but why not mom, there are other kids there” she would just smile and say “because I love you”. Its less argument and the first time I heard her say that I whipped my head around like “huh”? and thought “aw man how can you argue with that”? LOL
-Also lately JoJo has turned to hitting to show his frustration. I don’t hit him back, I just DON’T. I have been known to hold his arm down however I get down on his level and I give him a hug. Thankfully at this age a mama’s hug is still pretty powerful and he typically gives into it. But I am going to keep using this trick until it stops working! I tell him “no hitting, just hugs” and I ask him what he wants. He migth not understand me and I rarely understand him but I am showing him that I care about what his needs and wants.
I just do my best to put myself in his shoes, I remember often feeling like my feelings didn’t mater and if mom said no then there was no debating it. A lot of the time I just wanted my feelings heard.
I notice with kids older then five who can easily communicate what they want just really want acknowledgement if their feelings. I used to get down to my little brother’s level and try to find out what exactly it was he was upset about, repeat it in my own words so that he knew I understood what it was he wanted and then if it was a viable request I would tell him why instead of just no and try to compromise with him.
I know it sound silly to spell it out but how many times have you seen a mom dragging her kid out of a store by his hand while he is crying and her just yelling “no”! I surely have been guilty of doing that to my little brother and cant say I wont make the mistake with JoJo but I will do my best to acknowledge his feelings first and offer a compromise.