Since my daughter turned 4, she has progressively got more and more difficult to deal with. She is very intelligent which leads to constant head butting, strong will and plain rudeness sometimes. Being pregnant has limited my patience field to a mere couple blades of grass. Thus I have started seeking help in controlling my anger when dealing with her.
Some of what I have learned is simple- keep her entertained, give her adequate attentio, make sure she and I are both well rested and fed. Then some more techniques which come from this book "Soft-Spoken Parenting":
1. Get your heart right before you deal /see your kids. Make the decision to be focused on them and in a good mood.
2. When you feel anger approaching, just say No to it! Again it's a choice, don't let it take over you!
3. Use words to convey that you acknowledge their feelings. "I know it must make you sad to go to bed when everyone else is still up." "I would be mad too if my brother took my toy away"...etc This lets them know you DO undertsand and empathize with them, which for a child is half the battle (making sure they are heard).
4. Look on your children with compassion. Remember they are small and still figuring things out. Often they do not have the tools to deal with anger, frustration or tiredness yet or the vocabulary to accurately convey it.
5. When we are tired, we should be particuarly cautious in dealing with our children. They don't understand that our anger is not necessarily directed at them, but at a lousy coworker, long week, or financial strain. So we need to make sure we aren't directing inappropriate anger at our little ones.
I have been using these strategies and found them to be amazing little treasures. I will add more as I complete the book. There are 50 strategies in here, but I'm just stating the ones I felt are very important. To read more the author is : H Wallace Goddard, PH. D.
Love and peace of heart,
Kerry the Momster