In theory we are all great parents. When the actual time comes to put theory into practice that is when some of us do not quite deserve the parent of the year award. This is a short list with a few things that didn’t work with me while parenting my 2 kids (in case you are torturing yourself that you are the only parent out there who follows the best parenting advices and still fails at stopping the tantrums, fussing and whining).
- Offer choices. Really? I always offer my kids 2 choices and they never seem to agree with any of them. I ask them: ‘What would you like for dinner? Chicken soup or yogurt with honey (not combined obviously)? Their answer is: Pasta.
- Lower yourself to the eye level of a child. Whenever my son did not listen, I lowered myself to his eye level and usually got a slap on my face.
- Choose the clothes he/she will wear the night before. I helped Yianni choose his clothes yesterday night just before bedtime only for him to wake up today and have him fuss that these clothes were not the ones he really wanted to wear to school.
- Use the preventive approach. If I tell Yianni that I had a rough day and I can not put up with more whining it is like I trigger this button inside his head which orders him to do the exact opposite of what mom says.
- When your child throws a tantrum put him/her in time out. Remain in control and gently but firmly insist that he/she stays there. Gently??? Is there a parent out there that has any gentle feelings after having been screamed and yelled at for the last 15 to 20 minutes? If yes, please know that you have my utmost respect. For life.
And as my favourite comedian of the 80’s said: “In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage.”
― Bill Cosby, Fatherhood