Last week my daughter of 3 and I went to do some shopping for an upcoming festival.
As usual I dreaded how the day would end. Being a shopping addict myself, I enjoy spending my time in malls and looking for great deals. But accompanied by a small human being of 3 years old, it’s not that easy at all.
Normally it would start out all nice and lovely. We would get in the mall, do some shops, buy some stuff and then comes the dreaded moment when she would want to go where only she wants to go, at the same time she would want to eat and drink. Like in the middle of a clothing try-on, little missy is very very hungry and if I didn’t bring any food along, I’m doomed!
So this time, I told myself, I don’t want to go through this anymore. So I gave a little thought and decided to set expectations.
I told her gently, that I want to spend a marvelous time with her. I’ve been working the whole week and it makes me very happy to spend time with her. I don’t want any tantrums. If ever she feels bored or tired, she needs to tell me right away. And it’s safer to hold mummy’s hands when we walk.
My my… what a life changer that was!!! Surprisingly, that was the best moment I’ve had with her after quite some time. The day when on really well. She wasn’t tired, and never complained a bit. Although I did ask her several times during the day if she was tired. I did bring food and drink just in case, and she did eat :).
So, take away point is that, we as parents, need to understand that we’ve been here on this earth for a longer period of time than our little kiddos. They are still in the process of learning. Ask yourself how would a teacher treat his students? Definitely not by shouting or condemning or even threatening! Believe me, it only complicate things when you shout or threaten. Kids adapt, and soon enough they can become immune to the shouting and this is not where you want your kids to go.
Set expectations beforehand. Be very clear on how you feel and how it would please you if they could behave properly. Show the consequence of good behaviour. You may even promise some reward like doing some crafts together, or watching a nice movie together or even a little late night sleep on Saturday night. It doesn’t hurt to sleep a little late once in a while during the weekend. No pointing fingers in the process, please. Children need to have some space as well, they don’t like it when parents are always on their back. Would you like it if your boss was following your each and every move?
Keep in mind that your children do not want to punish you, they are just trying to understand how this whole world works and behave accordingly.
Share your comments if you have any other ideas or have tried this one.