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HANDLING MISBEHAVIOUR: IGNORING
Most of us are well aware of the best way of dealing with negative behaviour. Ignoring the bad, praising the good, right? Trouble is this is often easier said than done. The art of effective ignoring is not just pretending the child isn’t there whilst they’re exhibiting negative behaviour but also giving the child attention the second they behave. I have found the latter part is easy to forget as I’m just so blooming relieved that I’m finally getting some peace and quiet!!!!
We learnt that the best advice when it comes to ignoring negative behaviour is to get up and walking away. Having a child crying and pulling at you is going to provoke a response at some point. By removing yourself you are showing the child that this behaviour is not acceptable and also giving yourself some physical and mental space.
Of course, like anything, there are exceptions to ignoring: dangerous behaviour and aggression, such as hitting, should be dealt with ASAP.
For our homework this week we were asked to use a distraction or diversion when negative behaviour rears its head. If a tantrum etc is unavoidable then we need to put our new ignoring skills into practice.
My opinion is that the majority of tantrums are avoidable, they certain are for me. I find that Little Man usually tantrums because he is hungry or tired. As long as I’m on the ball things are very easily nipped in the bud. But, either through circumstances or tiredness on my behalf these cues are missed and I have a mini monster on my hands!
Sure enough, I had one of those days this week. We went to go and see a friend of mine and, as a result, a nap was missed. When we got home hubby put Little Man to bed but due to the lateness of this nap he woke up in a ferocious mood! I knew he was hungry, but he was refusing to eat and basically spent, what felt like hours, crying on the floor refusing to eat. Nothing seemed to work but then, just as I felt like I was losing the plot, I pulled myself together and sat him in front of the TV. This is not something I’d normally do at dinner time but I knew us hovering over him wasn’t doing him any good. After a minute he’d calmed down and I gave him dinner, he soon started eating and all was well.
I notice I get so stressed when Little Man is having a tantrum, this is especially the case when we’re out (you know, when you can feel everyone else watching and judging). My main issue is my feeling of lack of control. By keeping food, drink, change of top and a couple of little toys on me I can nip behaviour in the bud and, hopefully, as I feel more relaxed any behavior that does ensue can be managed more easily.