TECH­NIQUES THAT DON’T WORK

Your Baby & Toddler - - Baby Files: Toddler -

1 AG­GRES­SION

Re­spond­ing to ag­gres­sion with ag­gres­sion will have cat­a­strophic re­sults, over the short and long term. What­ever your views are about cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment – it’s not the so­lu­tion for when your child is hav­ing an anger at­tack. To shout and scold is also not the an­swer. Your child al­ready feels like he has no con­trol over a sit­u­a­tion, so it’s im­por­tant that you as a par­ent act in a con­trolled man­ner.

If you try and gain the up­per hand over or quell your child’s anger with your own, it will lead to one of two sce­nar­ios: He’s go­ing to con­tinue fight­ing back, he’s not go­ing to learn the skills re­quired to han­dle his anger, and he will keep on feel­ing and act­ing like the “dif­fi­cult child”; or he’s go­ing to give up and bot­tle up his anger, which can lead to psy­cho­so­matic ill­nesses such as tummy- and headaches and bed­wet­ting.

Fight­ing anger with anger dam­ages your child’s self-im­age, and he doesn’t learn how to as­sert him­self. In the long run, he won’t be in a po­si­tion to form his own opin­ion about things or peo­ple.

2 SUB­MIS­SION

On the other hand, if you give in to things you would nor­mally not have just be­cause your child is throw­ing a tantrum,

you’re cre­at­ing big­ger prob­lems for your­self.

By sub­mit­ting your­self to your child’s will ev­ery time he has a tantrum just to keep the peace, you’re con­tin­u­ously shift­ing the bound­aries of ac­cept­able be­hav­iour, and you’ll even­tu­ally have a child who doesn’t know what ac­cept­able be­hav­iour is. Un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour be­comes his norm. Such chil­dren be­come brats who’ll for the rest of their lives use ma­nip­u­la­tion to get what they want. If ev­ery­one gath­ers around the an­gry lit­tle tod­dler, coax­ing and plead­ing with him, he’s go­ing to ex­pect this re­ac­tion for the rest of his life.

At some point, though, some­one’s go­ing to refuse to give in to him, and then he won’t have de­vel­oped the emo­tional skills to change tack.

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