Cooperation Begins with Trust

Category Archives: Preschoolers 3-5 yrs

preschool discipline, parenting help, parenting solutions for preschoolers.

Have A Happy Holiday Season With These Proven Parenting Tips

Have A Happy Holiday Season With These Proven Parenting Tips

The holiday season can be a big trap for stress and parenting self-sabotage.

For the next several weeks, you may have high expectations for good, cooperative behavior.  You may get tired of fielding requests for big, expensive or so very many gifts. Comments from relatives at family gatherings may trigger self-doubt.  Little elves on shelves eagerly waiting to report on good or bad behavior may be putting kids a bit on edge.

Susan Newman, social psychologist and author shares:

We are supposed to be happy and joyous, but the demands of the holidays can quickly sap energy and enthusiasm. Racing around with tired, cranky children, and attempting to please too many people in our lives within the same compressed period can be nothing short of overwhelmingpositive parenting

If you are looking for some ways to reduce stress and parenting struggles during the holiday season, here are  seven positive parenting strategies for you:

Parenting Tip #1  Put Love & Connection Front and Center

It may be tempting to use gifts as a means to motivate children to comply with requests, during the holiday season.  The problem is that this kind of approach doesn’t create lasting motivation or self-discipline and can actually increase power struggles.  Relying on external motivators like elves, gifts and bribes also means children will learn to focus on what they can “get”  instead of learning the value of respect and following your guidance.

Check out How To Get Children to Listen without Yelling. 

Strive to focus on your relationship, spend special time together daily. Make a gift wish list together and surprise your little one with gifts this holiday season, for the sake of being generous and promoting fun family time – not in exchange for specific behaviors.

Parenting Tip # 2.  No forced hugs and kisses (This one is a biggie!)

Holiday gatherings may call for lots of greetings of relatives. Forcing children to kiss others when they feel uncomfortable  violates the child’s personal space and their sense of personal boundaries and safety.  Insisting on those kisses and hugs can lead to tantrums, clingy behaviors and a difficult start to a family event.

Worried that relatives will be expecting a warm greeting? Use play with your child to practice polite greetings like a wave and a hello. Talk ahead of time about which relatives they will be meeting and who they are.  When arriving to an event, remember some children take a while to warm up to new people so  try to respect your child’s pace and allow them to greet relatives how and when they feel comfortable.

Parenting Tip # 3.  Sincere Encouragement is Truly Magical

“Stop that or Santa’s going to know how bad you are!”

“Santa’s not coming if you keep being so naughty and touching everything in store!”

Tempting? Yes, absolutely, because getting kids to listen and be cooperative when out and about can be tough.  The constant evaluation of “good boy” and “bad girl” and naughty and nice is also really stressful to a child.  That kind of information also doesn’t tell the child what it is that they CAN do.

Look for specific situations when you can use encouraging words instead of evaluating.

This practice is great because it works everyday, and not just in the holiday season.

Encouraging words also work to invite cooperation, validate and set limits:

  • “Thank you for helping me fold the dish towels, I appreciate it when you pitch in with family chores”
  • “It must have been tough to walk by so many toys and not even stop to look at them!   We were in a hurry and I appreciate your cooperation getting in and out of the store so fast!”
  • ” I see you really like this toy, please put it back on the shelf. Today I am not buying anything, AND  I will add it to your holiday wish list!”

parenting library free resources

Parenting Tip # 4.  Let Your Kids be Cozy and Comfortable 

Itchy tags and tight shoes can make small children cranky really fast.  Last year at a Christmas party, a toddler was running around desperately trying to undress herself.  It might have been really funny if it was just a toddler thing and not for the fact that she was so very miserable because her tights were itchy.  Eventually, the poor little tot melted into a huge tantrum. Having a cute and comfy outfit on hand may prevent some tears!

What about when kids refuse to dress up? 

Some children resist being told what to wear and prefer to choose their own outfits.

If it’s hard to give up control of the outfits or you have your heart set on a beautiful but not so practical outfit, consider offering your child a choice between two possible outfits.  Another idea is allowing your child to  switch outfits after getting nice pictures done. Try offering this as a compromise, you may be surprised at the answer.

Parenting Tip # 5. Stress Free Decorations Help you Nag Less and Enjoy More 

Beautiful…breakable…expensive ornaments and young children just don’t mix so well. Save the stress and hassle of begging, pleading, asking and well yelling…”Stop touching” by keeping your holiday decoration child friendly.

Use non breakable ornaments or decorations for as  long as you have little ones.  This takes a lot of the stress away and let’s your young child feel safe to play and explore.

Another idea is to have a small basket of ornaments that are child friendly and specifically intended for redirecting  little ones to play with.

Parenting Tip # 6.  Healthy & Happy Eating Without Power Struggles

Food is a huge part of holiday festivities, from cookies to pies to big celebration meals.  There may also be loads of new foods and smells that are of no interest to your young child.

Many children resist eating unknown foods (this is a protective behavior based on instinct not defiance) try not to insist.  Instead to have familiar foods near the new ones and let your little one decide what they are happy to try.

Getting asked all the time for too many sweets? Before it pushes your buttons, try to be pro-active and set a limit on how many sweets are alright  based on your family values and then stick to it.

Worried about table manners?  Practice at home in a playful way,  but don’t expect an overnight change.  Especially toddlers like to touch and smash food before eating it. Preschoolers and older children are more likely to do well if they have something to do so bring coloring books and small toys along.

Parenting Tip # 7. Remember Your Kids want Connection not Perfection!

Don’t worry about keeping up with the latest trends or run yourself down doing more than you can realistically handle.

The Holidays can be a a wonderful time to build memories, being deliberate in how you connect with your children can make it a truly magical time.

Your shared time together is what will matter in the long run.

Peace & Be well,

How To Transform Criticism And Bring Out the Best in Your Child

How To Transform Criticism And Bring Out the Best in Your Child

The best praise is focused on your child’s effort, not your child’s traits. The same is true of criticism. In one study by Columbia University researchers, kindergarteners were given a scenario: a teacher asks them to create a house out of Legos, and they forget to put in windows. Then the teacher and child role-play… Continue Reading

Discipline When Young Children Become Aggressive

Discipline When Young Children Become Aggressive

 Aggressive toddlers and preschoolers need your guidance when they act in aggressive and other unhelpful ways. It’s quite normal for toddlers and preschoolers to struggle with aggression. When your child acts aggressively it is typically a sign that she is feeling upset, scared or overwhelmed. Aggression can also be a sign that your child has… Continue Reading

Two Things Every Child Needs for Intrinsically Motivated Cooperation

Two Things Every Child Needs for Intrinsically Motivated Cooperation

Your child’s behavior is not the problem. Really. If your child’s behavior is not the problem, then what is? Some parents reply, “I’m the problem!”  It’s true that you may be part of the problem but here’s the real answer . . . The problem is the problem. There’s always something deeper that causes the… Continue Reading

Why Timeouts Make Tantrums And Power Struggles Worse (And What To Do Instead)

Why Timeouts Make Tantrums And Power Struggles Worse (And What To Do Instead)

A parent wrote in recently asking why timeouts are making her daughters behavior worse instead of better. She shares: I have a 3 year old daughter that throws the biggest tantrums whenever i simply say no or disagree with her. She has picked up negative behaviors to calm herself. Such as slamming doors and using aggression.… Continue Reading

How To Discipline A Child That Breaks The Rules And Doesn’t Listen

How To Discipline A Child That Breaks The Rules And Doesn’t Listen

You broke your own rule mama! You used the car as a closet!  Said my daughter beyond excited to have noticed my forgotten coat, wrinkled and abandoned in the freezing cold car.You are right. And I am so glad you noticed and told me. I offered with a smile. I will be sure to take it inside… Continue Reading

Children Are Wired For Empathy And Insisting On Apologies Is Not Necessary

Children Are Wired For Empathy And Insisting On Apologies Is Not Necessary

Knowing how to make amends is a very valuable life skill.  As children grow they have many opportunities to apologize and make amends. While we would like children to know how to say “I am sorry”, often children will apologize in their own way. Children are Wired for Empathy Children are born with the capacity for… Continue Reading

The Most Powerful And Punishment Free Way To Better Behavior

The Most Powerful And Punishment Free Way To Better Behavior

Discipline that teaches your child’s heart and mind at the same time. When my son was four years old, he was sweet, funny and quite mischievous. Just a moment unsupervised and something was likely to get opened, spilled or broken. Most days my son was content to play with his toys, in the garden or… Continue Reading

What To Do When Consequences Don’t Work

What To Do When Consequences Don’t Work

Three Parenting Strategies To Try when Consequences Stop Working and your Child is Misbehaving Does this scenario feel familiar? It’s getting close to the end of the day, and you are expecting your child to clean up toys, wash up, help set the table, get ready for bed and go to sleep. Only problem is,… Continue Reading

What You Need To Know To Navigate Tantrums Beyond Toddlerhood

What You Need To Know To Navigate Tantrums Beyond Toddlerhood

Tantrums after the toddler years are normal and happen because of emotional overload. Frustration, anger, disappointment and sadness, can lead to a child having a tantrum at any age. Parents can help children manage anger, tantrums and intense emotions using positive parenting tools. Continue Reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...