After telling you yesterday that you need to inform your child of the consequences that follow his actions, I today would like to tell you what is important after putting these consequences into action:
5. Stay firm on your Decisions
When you have told your son that you would take a toy car away from him if he threw it across the room, do it. You told him that he shouldn’t throw it because it could break. You told him once more, if he did it again, you would have to take it away. Do it. He is repeating the action especially to see whether you do it or not. That’s your point to show that you mean it and a very important way to make your children listen to what you say.
It sounds easy, reading it: just take away the car. In practice – and I know that by first-hand experience with a very stubborn toddler – this can prove to be much more difficult. Be prepared to face screaming and crying, a full-fledged tantrum even in public. A child throwing himself to the floor, maybe even trying to scratch, bite or beat you when you pick him up and screaming at the top of his lungs, drawing the attention of everyone in a five mile radius around you to the fact what a bad parent you are.
That’s what it feels like. But it is not the truth and everyone who has children knows this. Don’t care about the rest, they will either one day get to know it themselves or they can remain thinking bad about you while you are doing the right thing.
The right thing is to be firm even if this happens but at the same time not get angry or even aggressive with your child. Stay calm and peaceful. If you have the option to take your child to a place where it is only the two of you and where you can talk in peace, go there or search for a quiet corner, if you cannot be fully alone.
You can take your son into your arms – provided that you are calm yourself – and hold him on the lap while he lets out his emotions. They have to be expressed, it is just natural. Keep him from hurting himself and turn him with the back to you if he tries hurting you. You can tell him once more, calmly, that you took the car away because he was throwing it around and that he won’t get it back now when he is screaming but at another time when he will be calm.
He will be at some point, trust me. And from this he will take his lesson that you mean what you say and no stubbornness or crying will change it.
6. End it with Love
Once your baby has calmed down – maybe with a little help by you, suggesting doing something else or changing the place, make sure you end this episode with love. Let your child feel that even if it does such a drama, no matter for what, where and how much, you will still love him and be there for him. Hug, give each other a kiss and tell your boy that you love him.
It is not easy getting through the tantrums but this last part is a great reward that makes you feel wonderful. You have just now successfully completed an act of educating your child with love, helping him through his emotions and being there for him, a strong arm that shows limits but is there to hold him with love and guide him on the right way.
I will go and kiss my daughter now…