I am having trouble my youngest son who is four. I would love to transform him into a better behaved child. I am really putting a lot of thought what I can do to decrease his tantrums and outbursts. I decided yesterday on a behavior chart—simple handwritten chart with the two goals I have for him:
- Listen to and obey parents and teachers.
- Do not get angry when little things don’t go your way.
I drew little pictures to go with each–an ear for the first to listen and a face with a jagged smile to show anger and an X over it for the second rule. I have small gold star stickers and anytime I feel he is especially good, I give him a star. I will give him something special, an app or a visit to the dollar store or the yogurt shop once he gets ten stars.
I am talking to him in calm moments and doing timeouts. I am reading up on what might work and talking about it with my mom friends for advice. The advice I’ve gotten:
- Put him in a team sport. I have him in swim, but this mom thinks being on a team would help. I worry that his behavior would frustrate me further in that setting so I may hold off just a bit longer.
- Make sure he gets enough sleep, exercise and eats right…which is always good advice.
- Pray and give space for God to do his work.
- And, the best advice I received was not to worry about transforming him as much as transforming myself. Am I doing everything to keep myself healthy and equipped for the trenches of motherhood?
I have a child who seems to anger way too easily about such minute things and who lately has tantrums daily. However, I am grateful for these aspects his behavior:
- He is not physically aggressive and does not harm others.
- The fits don’t last too long—no more than five minutes and he apologizes after and does want to learn to control them.
- He is still a loving child and very affectionate, just has hasn’t learned yet to manage his feelings.
Today I release the focus from my boy and put it on myself. Today I will work to transform my habits and health in the best possible direction so that I can be at my best. When I am at my worst—his anger makes me an angry mom and that’s not what I want for us.
What do you do to transform/take care of yourself so that you can handle the tougher parenting days?