Moms and Dads, listen up! A psychologist and a mom here on the Gulf Coast is studying what we do -- and, how we do it -- when it comes to handling our children's behavior challenges. She's doing this to help us with difficult situations. Dr. Kim Zlomke works with families every day as they work through some tough behaviors.
Here's one many moms and dads may relate to: a temper tantrum at the store. A real throw-down from a little person in public can be hard to manage! We worry about what others think of us, we worry about how this will affect our child, we may second-guess our own actions. It's tough! But, Dr. Zlomke tells us we need to try to look at it from their point of view.
Dr. Zlomke explains, "when there's a difficult situation or a problematic behavior with a kiddo, stop and step back for a minute and think. What is my child trying to get out of this situation? Why are they trying to tell me and do? And, to use that knowledge to our benefit, to the parent's benefit."
That knowledge can help us manage behavior triggers in the future. No behavior happens in a vacuum. There's always a reason and a consequence -- good or bad. Dr. Zlomke says we should avoid asking questions or giving options that we can't fulfill. For example, don't ask if your little one is ready to get ready for bed. That answer could be no -- and, then what do you do? If you don't honor that answer, Dr. Zlomke says you're teaching your child that their opinions and options don't matter. Also, avoid rapid-fire instructions and rapid-fire questions. Those can lead to confusion and frustration. Manage your little one's environment. Being hungry and or tired can lead to behavior problems. So can transitions. Changing from one thing to another can be tough on kids, especially if they're not ready for it. We should be developmentally appropriate. And, remember our reactions to their behavior matter. So does our behavior, as they learn oftentimes by watching us!
For more on managing difficult behaviors, click here . And, share your ideas on Sarah Wall's Fox 10 News Facebook page .
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