Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teach Problem-Solving Techniques for Emotions

         Your five-year-old son has just had a meltdown.  He wanted you to take him with you to his older brother’s basketball practice.   You refused because it was after school and you knew he needed a nap because he’d been up late last night.  Little sleep equals a short temper for your little one.
        And that’s just what he had—a short temper.  He started his rampage of kicking the door against the wall and flailing like he was in a pool swimming backwards.
        How is a mother, who wants to give up hitting and shouting, supposed to control this type of behavior?  The first thing to understand is that children are going through a learning process.  They must be taught how to behave.  This doesn’t mean you simply let them know their behavior is unacceptable. It also involves showing and explaining to them other ways to actually solve their problem.
        Some children take longer than others to learn how to control themselves.    This is where patience comes in on the parent’s part.  When a child seems to be unresponsive to suggested solutions to his problem, don’t give up.  Continue directing him.
        A significant aid in showing your child how to handle his upset feelings is by showing alternative ways of solving his problem.  When your child is having a temper tantrum, he is responding to negative feelings such as sadness, anger or blocked opportunities.  Show him how he can resolve or lessen his problem to help himself feel better.
        Let’s go back to the story of the five-year-old who is heated because he can’t go with his mother to his brother’s basketball practice.  Think of solutions he can use to help resolve or lessen his feelings of rejection.
        Explain to him he can go outside and play with his friends since he can’t go to the game.  Tell him he can play the new computer game on the computer.  Tell him to get his clothes out for you to iron so he’ll be ready for you to take him to the next game.  The idea is to help him see there are ways of minimizing the blow of not being able to go with you.

       He may not cease his behavior immediately.  But once you leave the house, your ideas will remain in his mind for some time.  And he will likely take you up on some of the suggestions.

This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s FREE e-Book: Discipline without Disrespecting: 8 Tips to Taming Your Muslim child's Temper.  To download your FREE e-Book or receive Grandma Jeddah's FREE newsletter, visit her at

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