Sometimes you find yourself reacting strongly to relatively minor events. It happens to everyone. But if it’s happening to you with more regularity, there could be something more behind it.
Here are some potential culprits:
But awareness is where better starts. So here we go:
1) Doing too much for your toddler.
What I mean is, doing what they should be learning to do for themselves. An example would be picking up their toys for them as they flounce on to the next thing, instead of insisting that every time, they clean up first.
I’m guilty of this one sometimes. It just seems like too much work to make her do it, and she seems so happy and excited about the next thing. What’s the harm ,really?
2) The harm is the inconsistency. We’re teaching our kids all the time, even when we don’t realize it.
Behavior modification is a regular part of life. We’re teaching children how to treat us and others by what we pay attention to and what we ignore.
A basic rule of behavior modification is this: Behaviors that are intermittently reinforced are the most resistant to change. What that means is, if I tell my daughter to do something and I let her ignore me 20% of the time, then she might try to get away with it 100% of the time. She’s learning that it works sometimes, so why not try her luck? This could be one of those times.
That’s why it is important to have her put her toys away 100% of the time. It’s the rule; she has to follow it, even if I feel tired. Because I don’t want her to learn that when Mommy’s tired, she can just do whatever she wants.
And always remember, they’re smart cookies, these toddlers. Like I said, learning all the time, just not necessarily what we’re trying to teach.
3) Using redirection all the time, and avoiding a simple “no.”
It’s hard to say no to your toddler. For one thing, they often don’t take it well (tantrums and the like). For another, we like to see our kids happy, and “no” is not likely to produce that …
Many parents can see their teens floundering, but aren’t sure what to do about it. They might overdo and become intrusive (which causes their children to want to push them away) or underdo (not say anything and just hope the problem goes away.)
I’ve got some suggestions about how to walk the middle ground and emotionally connect with your teenager.
Many of us take our primary relationships for granted. But every now and again, it’s time to assess just how we’re doing as friends, lovers, co-parents, and all-around partners. Here’s a quick check-up/check-in that you can do on your own, or even better, with your partner. That way, you can see how your answers (and your experiences) match up.
When people feel they’re being attacked, their natural stance is to defend. But what if your partner finds any feedback or criticism to be an attack? How do you communicate? Here are some tips:
The new year is always a great time for self-reflection. So I thought I’d post about some general parenting tenets. These are, of course, subjective, in that my aspirations as a parent might be different from yours. But it might provide a jumping off point for you to consider your own goals.
I’ve been spending a good percentage of my sessions with clients this past week talking about how they will deal with their families when they all get together for the holidays. While in theory the holidays are about good tidings and cheer, in practice for some people, they’re about stress and difficult personalities. I’ve got some suggestions for how to cope.
As a parent, you want to see your child healthy and happy. But it’s not really within your control. What is within your control is how you respond when you see your child struggling. So here are some suggestions that might help, when you suspect your teen might be depressed.
Yes, it can be the most wonderful time of the year. It can also be the most stressful. With stress can come irritability, and it can mean conflict with your partner just when you need his or her love and support the most.
I’ve got some ideas for how to pull out of this damaging cycle, so you can enjoy each other and the holidays.
My daughter’s almost two, and out of nowhere, she’s become a picky eater, which absolutely grates on me. She pushes away foods she’s eaten for months without taking even a single bite, and then she’s gesturing for the food she wants in its place (98% of the time it’s bread.)
So my husband and I are going to have to outlast her. She has to learn that she’s going to eat what we serve her (or at least try it before rejecting it.) That means no replacement foods: If she says no, she’ll just have to be hungry. She’s going to cave before we are. That’s my vow.
It feels mean, I’ll admit it. And she certainly howls like I’m the worst mommy in the whole world. And I’ll admit that bothers me, too: Not just her discomfort, but her being upset with me, specifically, for inflicting her discomfort.
So read on for the methods I’m employing to outlast her. Please write in with any comments (or to tell me I’m going about it all wrong, that’s good food for thought, too. This parenthood thing has an unending learning curve.)