In the 1st part of this 2 part post I shared the triads of my strong -willed child, Tiger girl. She is a child which really challenges me on a daily basis with her wit.
It is really amazing that a 3 year old can be so certain about what she wants and really can wear your patience ultra thin.
Kids this age flare up and tear easily when they don’t get what they want. It is very important to address this errant behavior at this stage or else it will get more difficult as they grow up.
It has taken many trials and errors before I’ve learned how to deal with her and minimize the amount of conflict that she has with me. Here are two things I have learned so far.
1. Speak calmly and model desired behavior.
An Example of modeling the behavior you wish your child to display.
‘ I WANT that drink!!’ she would shout.
” I cannot hear you” I would tell her. ” You are shouting. If you are speaking nicely in a nice tone I maybe able to hear you better”.
” Can you say – Can I have the drink please?” (This is repeated if there is no response from her or she still continues shouting)
She doesn’t not get the drink if she doesn’t ask properly and this is something that I have to be insistent on if she is to learn about proper etiquette.
After a few times Tiger girl would “get the idea” as she realize that shouting gets her nowhere. She’s one smart cookie as these few days it takes less then a minute for her to model the correct behavior so that she is able to get what she wants.
2. It takes skill to play the waiting game.
When Tiger girl throws a tantrum and refuses to walk I will tell her that she has two choices either to walk or she can stay at where she currently is but don’t expect me to wait for her.
I make it clear to her that her current behavior is not acceptable and the reason why she is not getting the item (Ie: Ice- cream / soft toy etc). I do offer her suggestions or alternatives to her initial request as I reason with her.
Sometimes she does start asking for alternative demands when her initial demand is not met. She may or may not get her alternative request depending on how realistic they are.
Most of the time kids this age can be reason with. You just have to be a bit more patient and spend the extra 5 -10 minutes cajoling them. They may not understand your intentions the first time around however after repeatedly testing you under similar circumstance they will start to realize that tantrums don’t work on you and cease doing it.
If we are at home and she starts throwing tantrums I will just walk away and let her scream and shout after explaining to her that her behavior is not acceptable. She can go on for an hour and sometimes cry until she falls asleep.
As long as they are not in any physical danger I feel that it is all right to let them cry it out. You have to stay firm and even harden your heart to their pitiful cries but it is something that has to be done to be able to “tame” them.
Tiger girl’s outburst have reduced a lot since I’ve adopted this method of addressing her tantrums. I’m not affected by her mood swings and the day is not spoiled for the both of us.
In the next post I will be doing a follow up on how Positive Affirmations have been working on Monkey boy and how Doggie boy has been faring in his studies so far.
Post in this series