SAHM: Dealing with a Stubborn Kid
This week I must have displeased the parenting gods because I am not exaggerating when I say my toddler has pushed. me. to. the. edge. every single day!
He knew exactly how to push my mama buttons to make me fly off the handle. He was willing to let me count to three knowing full well I had no idea what the consequence was going to be after. He would yell when I tried redirecting him, and simply would not listen when I would use my nice mom voice. SEND HELP! (and chocolate) What am I doing wrong?
Well, if you're anything like me and you have reached your (sort of kind of) recommended limit of sugar and caffeine to get you through the last week, and you're still searching for a way to handle your stubborn little one(s), then let's try out some of these things together, shall we? Let's see if we can get through this!
I mean it probably won't make things worse...right? RIGHT?!
Take a MinuteOkay, this is so important when you have a kid that is constantly trying you. And yes, I mean like TRYING you. Get away for a sec. Get to the bathroom, go lie down in your bed for a sec, or spend a couple of minutes on the patio. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and remember that you're in charge here, and this is one day out of thousands of days that you will be at home with your littles, and get back to the kids with a little more zen.
Let it GoKeep the song running through your mind if it helps you remember this one, but the simple fact is there are some things that your kid knows will bug you, but if you do your best to ignore it, there's a pretty good chance that they'll quit doing it. That's the theory, anyway. This will definitely depend on the kid and the mama, and the number of times that you've already told your kid to CUT IT OUT. In our house, it's maybe not getting upset with every toy he throws or every time he nudges his sister. By keeping your lips sealed even though it's driving you nuts, you'll show them that the behavior doesn't have any affect on you.
Stay FirmThis one is crucial when you've already given your child a warning for a behavior and a future consequence if it happens again. Do. Not. Cave. If you're at the park and you tell your kid not to throw sand or you're leaving, leave. If you're at home and you tell them they won't get a treat after dinner if they don't finish their chicken, no treat. If you're headed over to a friend's house for a playdate but your toddler won't stop hitting throwing his shoes into the front seat, turn that car around, mama. Showing our children that we follow through on promises that we make when it relates to their behavior will help them to understand that their actions have consequences.
Get MovingOne thing that I've learned from being a SAHM is that your kids will probably not appreciate a day in doing nothing the way that you will. I know. It's tragic. So get outside and let your littles move around, run out the wiggles, or go down the slide three thousand times at the park. If you're dealing with yucky weather and outside isn't an option, play some board games together, or work on putting together a puzzle. Do a fun project like baking cookies or building a castle together out of legos. When their minds and/or bodies are engaged in an activity, the chances of them spending time arguing or misbehaving are going to go waaaaaaaay down.
Praise the Good
This is something that probably doesn't need to be said, but that's never stopped me before. Plus it's a good reminder to myself. Whenever you see your child behaving appropriately, make sure you acknowledge it! They are looking for your approval and your interaction, so when you see them doing things like sharing, using kind words, and keeping their hands to themselves, make sure and let them know you're watching. Hit them with a high five, a quick, "thank you," or explain to them how being a good boy/girl makes everyone so much happier. Taking a second to praise our kids when they're acting right will go a long way!