Minimising Power Struggles
Many power struggles can be avoided by giving children ‘special one-to-one time’ when they feel strongly connected and can download things they feel unsettled about rather than through behaviours which are difficult for the parent to experience. Play is how children communicate so games which give children power can be fun!
Dealing with Strong Emotions
As a parent, being exposed to your child’s uncontrolled strong emotions can be daunting, frightening, uncomfortable or even embarrassing. Our lifetime of social conditioning tells us that emotions, for the sake of societal norms, need to be held largely in check. So when a child unleashes a fit of temper in innocence of the social context, the adult faces a huge challenge – they may feel the exact same as the child, overwhelmed and stressed but unlike the child they have awareness of options. Choosing an option with a positive outcome requires the same self-awareness and control we might simultaneously crave in our children at the height of a tantrum.
Understanding & Supporting Sharing
Did you know? Research by Hay et al., (1991) concluded that 2 year-olds were more likely to offer toys to peers when playthings were scarce rather than plentiful! They also concluded that children were less likely to share after toddlerhood!
I don’t negotiate with terrorists or toddlers!
I’ve see it a few times on my Facebook feed – a photo of a distraught child pummelling the floor of a supermarket/ pavement/ kitchen floor with her fists, posted by an obviously equally distraught (yet hiding beneath a mask of mirth) parent with the words along the lines of “I don’t negotiate with terrorists or tantrumming toddlers!
5 ways to encourage cooperation
Today I saw a two-year-old child drop a piece of litter on the ground. The mother angrily ordered the child to ‘Pick that up! Now!’. The child ran off. The mother retrieved her and again ordered her to pick the litter up, telling her she was ‘naughty’. She also told her where the bin was, upon which the child happily picked up the litter and put it in the bin.