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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Handy Parenting Resources: the Fridge Lists

Some of my readers have said they'd like to put up some of my posts on their refrigerator for easy reference. Here, I've distilled these lists down a bit so you can print them out for just this purpose and still have room on the fridge for your child's artwork and photos. I call them the "fridge lists." Enjoy!

MaMammalia's Fridge Lists

MaMammalia's
(the Fridge version)

1)      Appeal to your toddler's natural empathy. "It hurts my ears when you... " bang on that, scream, etc., or "I can't understand you when you..."  whine, yell, cry, etc. or "Ouch! That hurts!"

2)      If at first you don't succeed, try again in 1 minute.  Or 30 seconds, or 5 minutes, or 15. Be quiet while waiting. Let him finish what he's doing.

3)      Provide an attractive alternative. Make the exchange respectfully and be sure to validate any disappointment or anger.

4)      Use humor and playfulness. Get creative, laugh, and watch your tension melt!

5)      Be emotionally available prior to your request. Before you ask... play, hug, smile, nurse... connect.

6)      Enlist the help of your toddler. Ask him to help carry something, pick something out, put something away, etc.

7)      Say "gentle" instead of  "no touch." Save the "don't touch" for seriously dangerous items.

8)      Avoid using punishment for non-compliance. Work on developing alternatives to yelling, spanking, and time-outs.

Want more explanation? Get the complete article
Like this type of list? Visit MaMammalia for more: http://mamammalia.blogspot.com/

MaMammalia, Copyright 2011

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MaMammalia's
(the Fridge version)

1) Try a gentle approach first. (See the Gentle Strategies list)

2) Use toddler-appropriate language: correct pronouns, precise phrasing, and age-appropriate.

3) Demonstrate confidence in your request through your tone of voice.

4) Offer legitimate choices. Come up with 2 different ways to fulfill your request, then give your toddler the choice. Avoid false choices.

5) Take action. "I won't let you..." or "Please do not..." hit the dog/throw toys/run in the street, etc. , then enforce the words peacefully by holding up a hand or standing in the way.

6) Validate the child's feelings. "I understand that you are angry because I won't let you..." or "It's OK for you to feel angry at me for..." or "Are you sad that...?" Avoid judging, criticizing, minimizing, or blaming.

7) Consider the child's unmet needs. Start with physical needs (hunger, thirst, fatigue, overstimulation, pain), then consider emotional needs (acceptance, respect, independence, connection).

8) Reconsider your request. What's the worst that would happen if you just let it go?

9) Work on your relationship. Do you need to reconnect with your child, or yourself?

10) Avoid bribery, threat of punishment, or withdrawal of privileges.

Want more explanation? Get the complete article
Like this type of list? Visit MaMammalia for more: http://mamammalia.blogspot.com/

MaMammalia, Copyright 2011
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MaMammalia's
(the Fridge version)

Take a break to just breathe.  Say "I need a moment" then sit or lay down for some deep breathing.  Afterwards, reconnect with your child through a hug, eye contact, or kind words. Repeat as needed!

S--l--o--w    d--o--w--n. Do one thing at a time, paying close attention to your actions, thoughts, words, and feelings.  Avoid judging or evaluating yourself, just notice your own experience.  

Put the problem  on the shelf, along with other items not appropriate for children. Create boundaries around your thoughts, e.g. "I'll think about this after she goes to bed".

Look your child in the eyes when you talk to him. It will keep you connected.

Let go of guilt. If you haven't been your best self...Forgive yourself, apologize to your child, decide on changes to make, commit to them, and move on. 

Get some rest. Nap or close your eyes for a few minutes.

Get out of the house. Take a walk, get some exercise, do a simple errand.

Chat with a friend.  Get it off your chest.

Give yourself space to feel angry, sad, etc. Schedule time and space away from your child to experience your emotions. Validate your feelings and honor your experience.

Want more explanation? Get the complete article
Like this type of list? Visit MaMammalia for more: http://mamammalia.blogspot.com/

MaMammalia, Copyright 2011

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