Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Parenting in actually pretty hilarious. Kids do funny things, make silly faces, and for the most part, do anything they can to get attention. But making sure they always get the right kind of positive attention can be difficult, especially when you're at the phase that James has just entered - the temper tantrum. James' tantrums aren't too bad right now, if he doesn't get what he wants, he pouts and cries and screams. Occasionally, he gives his loving, kind mother, a slap. And even that is pretty hilarious, for now at least. He gets the most determined look on his face, looks right at me, and then strikes. So what are we doing to combat tantrums? Right now the answer is pretty simple - we ignore him. As soon as James realizes that he's not getting any attention, he stops. This is usually within a matter of seconds, so all of his tantrums are short lived. That actually makes them even funnier, although we are careful not to let him see us chuckling. When he starts to hit, I grab his hand (gently) and tell him in a stern voice to be nice, he's not allowed to hit momma. He has no idea what I'm talking about, but eventually he will and he'll know that he has to be nice. Telling him and showing him what nice is will eventually get the point across. We have been going through his process of showing him what nice and gentle are with the dog and will apply that to people as well. We also make sure to praise every single nice, gentle, well behaved action he takes. That way he knows that positive actions garner positive attention. At some point, when he can actually understand them, we will work time outs in, but I know we are a long way off from that. Parenting is a work in progress, but I know he is worth all the time and energy we spend and then some.