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Cry Baby.

Little kids love to create big scenes sometimes all the time.

Let’s face it, kids do have meltdowns too.

Then of course, discipline will have to come into the picture.

The word discipline does not sound like fun, does it? It is often equated with punishment and control.

There is a great deal of controversy about the appropriate/acceptable ways to discipline our children, but one thing I know for sure is, discipline should be inculcated from a very young age.

Discipline is about changing an undesirable behavior, not about punishing children. Of course, there will be (a lot of) days when discipline involves punishment of the children as well, especially so when we are at home.

I am sorry, but I am not for the idea of screaming at my kids at the top of my lungs in public, and inviting unnecessary stares and glares from the public as a result.

MUST CONTROL MYSELF. MUST NOT LOOK LIKE A FOOL.

But the thing is, kids can hardly control themselves, and will throw tantrums as and when they feel like it. There are many reasons why kids throw tantrums or worse still, have meltdowns. Most of time time, it is to get the parents’ attention.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I have myself noticed that kids who are very addicted to games from mobile devices or tablet computers like the iPad throw big tantrums more often too. I repeat, I am referring to kids who are VERY ADDICTED to games.

I may be wrong, but my observations are more often than not, CORRECT. LOL.

Actually there are pros and cons when it comes to playing games, but too much of something is never good. That part you cannot debate.

I do not allow my girls to play with the iPad or our mobile devices except during the school holidays. But I will often hide the iPad away from them so that they forget to ask for it even during the school holidays. LOL. I would rather that they spend their time doing other activities like swimming or cycling all day for instance. I do not even mind if they have to suntan for the entire day under the hot sun though I would prefer some place air-conditioned. You get my point. I am especially concerned with the fact that spending too much time on games will result in the child spending less time in other more meaningful activities such as reading, interacting with the family, and yeah, studying.

But whose fault is it that they are so amazed by the iPad or mobile devices?

When children see their parents playing games or spending a lot of time on their mobile devices, they want to play too.

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

Now, you must be wondering how I handle it with my girls since I am always at the computer and I am forever using my mobile phone too. My girls know how much I love to take photos of almost everything, and they also understand that my job as a blogger requires me to always take photos, use the computer and my handphone 24/7. See, I hardly play games. Once in a blue moon, maybe. So my girls can never bombard me with questions like “How come you can use the computer and hp but I cannot?” or “Not fair. You can play games but I cannot.”

Phew!  Boy am I glad to be a social media worker! It is really my arsenal on most days.

While having a device like the iPad can be very useful in terms of having a reward or an instant pacifier whenever you desperately need your child to leave you alone for a while, it can be very dangerous too if you do not get the right balance.

Say, you are having that dinner with your friends and you need to keep your kids occupied for an hour or so so that you can eat in peace. What will you do? Take out the iPad and hand it over to your kid?

The most common problem with tablet computers or mobile devices is, the kids will become so addicted to the games that they will react with tantrums and uncontrollable behaviour each time their game is taken away, and they do not know how else to occupy their time. They will scream at the top of their lungs, and throw the worst temper tantrums ever.

And then you cannot help but to wonder…

 haha

You will find it almost impossible to wean your child off computer games and mobile phones. How to when they throw tantrums each time you try to take the game away from them? It’s already an addiction, you know? Their tantrums will basically carry on even during the daily routines and get worse by the day,

What then?

You are in big, big trouble, my friend.

Well, not really actually, as long as you know how to handle their tantrums.

DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT FAST. 

 Just nagging at them will only tire your mouth. Nagging is really such a waste of time, and it causes noise pollution to the ears too.

The reality is, your child has yet to understand that he/she cannot get everything when he/she wants it, or the way he/she wants it. But just because your child is frustrated does not mean that you have to feed into that frustration.

haha2

Sadly, it is not ALWAYS ALL ABOUT YOU, kiddos. 

There are some strategies which might help, while you try to get them away from their games slowly but surely.

1. Try to give your child the power to decide:

This may ward off tantrums when they realize that they are allowed to make choices. Offer them choices like “Do you want to play with your game for 10 mins or 15 mins?” or “Do you want to bathe before or after playing with your game?” Based on my experience with my girls, they will usually honour the decisions they make. So you can try that with your kid instead of simply instructing them to do this and that.

2. Keep forbidden objects out of sight and out of reach:

If you do not want them to play with the iPad, then by all means, hide it. If asked, you can come up with excuses like “Oh sorry, the iPad is spoilt.” or “I think I left it somewhere. I forgot where.” But good luck though when you are coming up with your excuses because kids nowadays are smarter than you think they are. Why, they can even outwit you!

3. Distract your child:

Offer a replacement for the coveted object or start a new activity to place the forbidden object. You cannot possibly take the game away from them, and not offer them a replacement activity in return. Boring them to absolute death is never an option.

4. Make sure your child is not acting up because of lack of attention:

Kids need to know that they are getting the attention. When they do not get the attention, they will feel like they are not being loved anymore. So how then will they react? By throwing tantrums to get your attention almost instantly. How then do you handle this? You wouldn’t want an attention seeking child all the time, right? Well, one strategy that might work is to always catch them being good, and rewarding them with your attention for every positive behavior that you see. Commenting on what they are doing when they are not having a tantrum can help to increase the positive behaviour too!

And when they misbehave, they should know that they will not get any attention from you. My girls throw tantrums too. When we are at home and they start their temper tantrums, the only attention I will give them is to give them a time-out and put them in the corner until they stop. I will actually ignore their presence until they stop. Works like magic all the time! The more someone pacifies them and gives them the attention, the more they will cry and the longer they will take to settle down.

“Discipline is doing what you know needs to be done, even though you do not want to.”

At the end of the day, it is essential to have at least a bit of discipline in life. Be consistent and earn that respect from your kiddos, most importantly. I mean, you would not want your discipline efforts to backfire you right?

Imagine giving your child the following ultimatum.

“You better get ready now or we are staying at home!”

And then, your child casually replies with the following:

“Okay, we stay at home!”

Might as well paste a big “L” sticky note on your forehead, my friend.

😀

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posted by admin in Education,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Parenting,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas and have Comments Off on Cry Baby.

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