Most parents know their kids. Parents know what makes their children smile or cry. For instance, loving parents are able to pick up the type of crying their babies make, and differentiate between an emergency cry versus attention cry.
At times parents don't know what is appropriate for their kids developmental stage or age. For instance, they may think "Should 3- year- olds be having tantrums?" Sometimes parents do know what is age appropriate but they don't know what to do with the information. Parents may think "If this is appropriate behavior for my child's age then how do I stay sane while my child is having a temper tantrum?" or "How should I act, so that my child does not think tantrums are okay? " Or better yet, "How do I make the tantrums stop?"
First, it is important that parents learn what is appropriate behavior for their children ages. Secondly, a plan of action to deal with the problem behavior is needed. For some time- outs or bedroom time will work wonderfully. For others, ignoring the behavior may be a better technique. It is important to have an action plan, and to be consistent. I encourage parents to also take care of themselves. This means that some parents may need to have a time out of their own, so that they can "talk to themselves" and find the calm they need. Also, it is important to discuss parenting issues with trusted friends or a therapist so that parents can receive support and ideas that improve each person's ability to parent well. Parenting is too hard, to be done alone.
Sabrina Bowen, LMFT
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