Top tips for cranky kids

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

WHAT do you do when your child chucks a tantrum in the mid­dle of the lolly aisle?

The Port Dou­glas Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre is help­ing lo­cal par­ents cope with the chal­lenges and un­pre­dictable mood swings of chil­dren through a weekly par­ent­ing pro­gram.

The six-week pro­gram started ear­lier this month for par­ents and car­ers keen to share their ex­pe­ri­ences and en­joy a laugh over the strug­gles of the par­ent/child dy­namic.

Par­ents who at­tend share and lis­ten to dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios and learn new ap­proaches to par­ent­ing in a re­laxed, sup­port­ive at­mos­phere.

Pro­gram fa­cil­i­ta­tors Jo Deriva and Deb De­laney are work­ing with the par­ents to pro­vide pro­fes­sional ad­vice on how to han­dle dif­fer­ent “tantrum” sit­u­a­tions.

“Each week par­ents lis­ten to each other sce­nar­ios and you can in­stantly see that it is help­ing them as they are all smil­ing and nod­ding and agree­ing with some of the dis­cus­sions,” Ms Deriva said.

“It’s a big com­mit­ment for par­ents to come to meet­ings for two hours ev­ery week but it al­lows them to un­der­stand why their first re­sponse may be frus­tra­tion and how to cope and re­spond to chil­dren who are show­ing poor be­hav­iour.”

Lo­cal par­ent Skye Thom­son at­tended the par­ent­ing pro­gram two years ago when her son Sam was a tod­dler.

“The pro­gram is fab­u­lous,” she said.

“It made me re­alise that it is all right not to be a per­fect par­ent and give your child a lit­tle bit of lee­way and let them make their own mis­takes.

“It ended up mak­ing me a much calmer par­ent.

“I did the course when my child was a tod­dler and so it helped me cope with his habit of chuck­ing tantrums and em­pow­er­ing him.

“I think it is im­por­tant for par­ents to re­alise that they shouldn’t feel like less of a par­ent if their child makes mis­takes.”

Any­one in­ter­ested in sign­ing up for the next par­ent­ing pro­gram can call the Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre on 4099 5518 for more in­for­ma­tion.

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