No mum or dad wants to be a ‘yeller’! But there are certain situations in which you can’t help yourself…
Being a parent is a tough job; no one told us before how tough it is.
Maybe one of the worst and most challenging situations is during a tantrum.
It can happen at home or in a public place, restaurant, or playground – just about anywhere. We can’t always prepare for it or have the right response or solution. Every parent tries their best to calm down their child in the most delicate way and to relax themselves.
Here are some helpful tips.
- Reaching out:
Reaching out or hugging can change any situation. Sometimes children misbehave because they want attention. If they feel we are with them in those situations without judging, by just being present, then they can become calmer sooner. Sometimes, when they feel the sky is falling down around them, all they need is a simple hug from mum or dad.
When a child starts to get louder and louder, try whispering instead of trying to out-shout him.
So when the situation starts to get serious, try to talk softly in order to get the child’s attention; hopefully, it will work!
- Do something unexpected:
When the storm is coming, and you are about to yell, you feel deep inside it won’t achieve the desired result. But if we start doing something unexpected, unusual or silly, it can change our child’s mood in an instant.
You can do funny faces, funny singing or dancing – anything that comes to mind.
- Start to play:
A little bit of humour and fun can help in any situation. Do something playful, like tickling.
- Calm place:
It can sometimes help if we bring the child to a calm place. It can be a calm and nice corner of the restaurant, under a nice tree in a playground or the best calm spot in our house. There they can release their tension or unleash the waterworks.
- Tension release:
In the event of a tantrum, we can’t just show our children what not to do – like biting or hitting others – but we can show them how they can release tension in a ‘nicer’ way. They can release anger and energy through clapping, jumping or even boxing a pillow. These techniques help them to reduce tension without hurting others.
…And a very important factor is your energy level and how desperate you are at that moment. We are all human and can’t always deal perfectly with the challenges we face in parenting. Sometimes, we are in no mood to tolerate our children’s misbehaviour and tantrums. Other times, we are not well, are nervous or are simply exhausted. First of all, forgive yourself for not being perfect and not always reacting appropriately.
Here are some tips on how you can avoid yelling, even if you feel like…..
- Get out of Dodge:
Ask your partner or even close grandparent, if around, to take over and just get some respite. As they were not in the stormy situation, they might be able to handle the situation better without yelling.
And this also works vice-versa. If you see you partner losing their patience (or sanity), then you can step in.
- Use humour:
It is not easy when you are mad and it doesn’t work in every situation. But there are some instances when tension can be deflated with a little bit of humour.
- Let your child know you are angry:
Sometimes, instead of going headlong into the storm, we can stop and admit to our child that we are really angry. With this statement, we can have a little bit of release as we expressed our feelings. Then we can leave the child for a few minutes – if they are old enough – to think and we can also calm down a bit.
- Start counting:
This is an old ‘trick’, but I am not sure it is effective enough….
Did we miss a tip? If you have any ideas of your own, please leave a comment!
Having a child is life changing. It can be both the best and most difficult change at the same time. Day and night mixed up, wailing ringing in your ears and parents completely knackered. Goodbye former life!
After we get over the initial shock and begin to find a rhythm, we might feel a little nostalgic for some elements of our pre-baby life. Like having a coffee with friends or just a pleasant lunch in our favourite restaurant.
If there is a grandparent around, then we can steal some hours for ourselves. Or if we bring the baby with us, and are lucky, he or she will hopefully sleep through and we can have a calm hour.
But what about toddlers? Well, this is trickier. How can we entertain them without using an iPad or smart phone so that we can have a few minutes to eat? Maybe the most difficult age group is between 2 and 4 years. The best is if the restaurant has a play area, but what if it hasn’t? Here are some electronic-free tips to entertain them regardless:
- Pack a bag of tricks (fun kit):
Keep some items in your bag that only come out on restaurant or cafe visits, like small toys, puzzles, colouring books, blank paper, crayons, stickers, a memory card game, etc.
- Play with the items on the table:
Just be creative with the items on the table – after establishing the boundaries of course. Have your child separate the mixed sugar packs based on colour, or ask him to arrange the bottles and containers on the table in order of short to tall and so on.
- Smart father’s ideas:
A smart and funny daddy with crazy ideas can be a big help at any time. Always bring one with you! 🙂
- Printed colouring pages with favourite cartoon characters:
A favourite character can bring a smile to your child, giving you some much-needed minutes while he is colouring.
- Guess which hand:
This is a very, very old game; maybe our grandparents used to play it when they were little, and I am sure you know it well too. Just use a sugar pack or any other small item from the table and hide it in one of your hands and have your child guess in which hand it is. The little ones enjoy it so much!
- Disappearing objects:
Put a group of items together in the middle of the table. Tell your child to look at them closely and then tell him to close his eyes. Take away an item and ask your child to tell which was it.
- Take a walk:
Sitting and waiting is hard for children and they are only able to do that for a certain amount of time. 🙂 So you’d better take a walk with them in the restaurant, checking the pictures, furniture or other interesting things before the meal arrives. If you are lucky, they can sit while you are eating. 🙂
- Teach table manners:
Eating out in a restaurant is a great opportunity to teach some table manners. Before the food comes we can talk about the table setup, different items, how to politely ask for something from the waiter and so on. Then of course we can praise them if they do it right; they will be delighted and maybe calm. 🙂
One final tip:
We recommend not having an appetiser :(, or just order an appetiser to share. And the child’s meal should come with your main course; if it comes before then, he will be finished eating when you just are just starting yours.
…And one extra tip:
Learn to eat quickly! 🙂
Did we miss a tip? If you have any ideas of your own, please leave a comment!
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