Tag Archives: behavior

Quick Behavior Tips for Calming Tantrums

Kids throw tantrums, and it is your job as a mom to become an expert at calming tantrums. That said, there are times where there is nothing you or anyone else can do to stop the screaming and fit throwing. But, these are tips that usually work at calming the tantrum thrower and helping them calm down enough to see past whatever it is they are upset about.

The first and most important thing to do is to stay calm. If you get angry and start yelling, the behavior is going to escalate. If you have to count, remove yourself from the room, or employ some other behavioral technique, do it.

Next, resolve that you will not give in to the tantrum. Giving in may make this tantrum stop, but it will only make the next one bigger and better. Your “no” needs to mean “no.”

Do not attempt to reason with the tantrum thrower. She cannot understand you anyway. Instead, make sure there is nothing around that can harm the child, and, if possible, allow her to have her tantrum in a safe place. If you are in public, physically remove the child from the location to the car so the tantrum is not a public display.

Use emotional cues to help your child put words with his emotions. Phrases like, “You must feel really frustrated that you cannot play longer” can help your child understand the emotions he is feeling and learn how to verbalize them in the future without the fit.

Sometimes children can be distracted out of their fits, if you can bring out the distraction before the fit escalates too badly. Try to ask a question to get your child’s attention and require a calm answer. Remember, however, that this might not always work.

When all else fails, ignore the behavior. Ignoring behavior is one of the best ways to stop it in its tracks, because kids are not going to want to continue throwing a fit if they are not getting a response. Remember, this too shall pass, and your child is only acting normal for a child. It is not a personal attack. Calming tantrums is a skill you will learn with time, if you can remain patient and calm when they are thrown at you.

Behavior Chart Tips

A behavior chart can be a positive way to reinforce the behaviors you want your children to exhibit and limit those behaviors you wish to put a stop to. However, you need to use them carefully to make them as effective as possible. These behavior chart tips will help you make the most of this.

First, you need to keep the process fun. One of the easiest ways to do this is to emphasize positive behaviors, helping the children earn marks or stickers when they perform activities you want them to perform. Decide on just a few behaviors to zero in on at a time. Too many can overwhelm your child, especially if he or she is little.

You have to be consistent to make a behavior chart work, so make it in a manner that makes sense to you and is something you can follow through on. Decide when you will “finish” the chart, whether it be a week or a month. When it is time for the “points” to be tallied and rewards given out, do so consistently, every time.

Your children will be motivated by things they can see, so put the chart somewhere they can see it, but if your children will be tempted to add to the chart or mess with it, hang it in a visible place that is out of reach.

You need to keep the rewards simple. Large rewards can be hard to maintain. A reward can be something as simple as choosing dinner, deciding what movie night movie will be, or other simple things. New sticker packages are popular with young children and are quite affordable. Be creative, knowing your children’s interests, but avoid making the rewards too exciting, because eventually you will have to make the reward “better” and you can eventually run out of ideas.

As you implement a behavior chart, be creative. Use these behavior chart tips to make it fun and effective in your home. Soon you will be seeing the behaviors your want to reinforce creeping into your home and becoming habits.

Discipline is Not Punishment

Infants and discipline are two words that don’t seem to go together. How can the pink faced little bundle in your arms smelling sweetly of baby powder possibly misbehave badly enough to warrant any kind of disciplinary action? The single mom knows that a big part of parenting is instilling proper discipline at an early age, but how early?

The first time your baby spits his food out at you, it may be very amusing. You might burst out in laughter when tiny hands upend the bowl containing his meal over his head. Many moms keep a camera handy, hoping for a repeat performance so that the tiny signs of personality can be recorded so that they never escape memory. When the behavior continues, many single moms are no longer amused and search for ways to stop the infant from the mischief.

Teaching the meaning of the word no at the starting line is a task that takes patience and love. A baby who hasn’t yet reached his first birthday will understand the tone of the word, but won’t understand that it means that his actions are inappropriate. He’s just a baby exploring his limited world through arms, legs and little fingers he is just discovering that he can control.

The baby doesn’t understand that he is doing anything wrong, even as he bites, puts any object within his reach in his mouth or grabs and pulls at hair and jewelry. The capacity for understanding right and wrong has not yet been developed. Any attempt at punishment will fail because the child has no concept of what he did that was inappropriate.

The behaviors, however, can’t be allowed to continue, so the first recourse mom has is to say “No”.  In a calm yet stern voice, the word no can alert the child to the fact that his immediate action was not accepted well. Over time, the baby may start reacting badly to the word, so it is important that the single mom follows up her admonishment with a smile or hug when the tiny misbehavior stops.

As the infant becomes mobile and his reach gets longer, it’s more likely that mom will find herself saying “no” over and over again. This repetitive use of the word has its own dangers. The baby might get so used to hearing the word that he just tunes it out. Instead of telling the infant who is biting, “no” over and over again, offer him something he is allowed to bite on, like a teething ring.

Be creative when offering an infant a diversion from activities that aren’t acceptable. Remove objects and place them out of reach when necessary. If the child’s curiosity won’t let him be distracted, it may be necessary to bring the child into another room until his desired objective is forgotten.