Parenting is fun, except when it’s not. Kids are great, but they’re far from perfect (much like their parents). Even the most well-behaved children have minor – or major – breakdowns from time to time, leaving their parents mortified, mystified, and sometimes unsure of how to handle the situation. Fortunately, experts have weighed in on how to handle three of the most common parenting problems around.
Kids would much rather have a plate full of Oreo cookies than a side of green beans, but it’s your job to teach your kids to eat right and enjoy delicious treats in moderation. Kids tend to eat their favorite food first and leave their least favorite for last. This builds up anticipation for the “gross” food at the end of their meal, making them less likely to eat it. From now on make it a family rule that everyone eats their vegetables first, before they eat their favorite side.
It happens to everyone; the dreaded day your child has a massive meltdown in the middle of the grocery store and you can’t get them to stop. The best thing you can do is get them to answer three questions with the word, “Yes” as quickly as possible. For example, get down on their level and quietly ask them if they feel unheard and wait for them to say yes. Then ask them if they really want the item they are screaming about and wait for them to say yes. Finally, ask them if they are frustrated with you for saying no, and wait for them to say yes. This makes them feel like you are really listening to them, and gives them a few minutes to calm down. From that point on, they are more likely to calm down and relax. However, if it doesn’t work you can always just ignore it – and your pride – because crying releases stress hormones, which will make them calm down sooner.
If your kids are anything like mine they will do whatever it takes not to go to bed. My oldest needs to go potty, or she wants another cup of water, or she wants a different baby to sleep with, or she wants to tell us she loves us again. She always has a reason to keep us in her room and her light on. To get your kids to go to bed on time you need to institute a routine. An hour before bedtime, start quiet time. Your kids will get used to this routine and actually be a little tired when it comes time to shut off the light and go to sleep. Let them read a story, draw a photo, or do something else quiet and simple each night before bed.