We as a parent often feel helpless when we see our kid misbehaving or dealing with the infamous “toddler tantrums.” Earlier, things were simple (I guess) either we used to get scolded by our parent for misbehaving or else a good thrashing awaited until dad got back home from work. Anyhow, most of us turned out well even with all those scolding and thrashing.
However, “parenting experts” these days are cohesive against physical punishment that studies repeatedly show impacts child’s emotional, moral and even intellectual growth.
So the question lies there whether to follow our parent’s footsteps?? Or go by as the experts’ advice? ,
Being a toddler’s parent how to keep yourself sane as well as the sanity of your child during meltdowns? Questions like this are often faced by us, how we can guide a 2, 3 or 4-year-old, who doesn’t have enough growth in the prefrontal cortex so far for a reason to outdo emotion, or mainly who might not have any interest in following the rules we live by!
Just like other parents, I was also introduced the concept of “Timeout.”
On the surface, it seems a sane option, they’re non-violent yet get the child’s attention. Moreover, they grant the child and parent a much-required break from each other when the emotions are not under control. However, any child could explain to you that time-outs are punishment. Why I am saying so because I too like any other parent was unable to control my daughter’s meltdown and misbehaviors and giving her timeouts. Poor soul also got a time out in school for being naughty.
But did the timeout solve the situation?
NO! It didn’t.
And it only worsened the situation more, I realized I made her feel bad about herself and somewhere I corroded my relation to her. I agree that timeouts are considerably better than hitting, but they impart the wrong lessons, and they certainly don’t work to shape them in well-behaved children. Here’s why.
- It makes kids perceive themselves as bad people.
- It doesn’t help them to learn emotional regulation including us.
- It operates on fear and neglect.
- It fuels power conflicts in them.
- Instead of finding solutions, we’re making the problem all theirs.
What to do instead of Timeouts
Of course, I have not become an expert on this by understanding the situation as every day is a new day and a new situation/circumstance. But over the time I have started practicing instead of giving TIME OUT, I give TIME IN, when I see the warning signs and try to calm her down. When I started to listen and respond to her emotions and become her confidant. She calms down, listens, and understands what I have to say then.
Once the meltdown starts, it’s already too late for teaching. The thinking parts of their brain aren’t working right now just like us adults when we are angry or frustrated. If someone comforts us during that moment or assures us that they are there for us, we understand and calm down, the same is with kids, and they seek for a confidant in us.
But when you’re Losing It
So instead of using timeouts on your child, use that timeout on yourself. Yes because it will help to keep your own emotions in harmony. Isolate yourself from the situation, take 5 or 10 or 15, and come back to the battlefield once your head is again between your years. This will help you from being sorry later.
Well, it’s all about practice as it doesn’t happen overnight, I have been practicing this for quite some time since it has been quite effective but still fails to do so. I guess this is what makes us human.
What do you do?
What are your tools in this situation?