Nanny tips- How to calm your child

Tips on Calming your Child- Parents & Nannies in Miami

Nanny tips from Elite Nannies On Call,  rated Best Nanny Agency in Miami by CBS Miami

1. Unplug the TV

Children who see aggressive or violent behavior on the TV screen or in computer games tend to model the behavior and be more aggressive when they play. Try limiting your child’s exposure to the media if he/ she tends to be more aggressive than typical and reinforce the message by choosing storybooks and TV shows that promote kindness.

2. Help him/ her work out what they may be feeling inside

After your child has calmed down from a tantrum, gently talk him through it. Start by asking what may be bothering him/ her and why: “Did you think I wasn’t listening to you?” Dr Sal Severe, psychologist and author of How to Behave so your Preschooler Will Too, points out that, like adults, young children have a variety of feelings: “They need to be taught how to label and manage those feelings, especially anger.”

In order to do this your child needs an emotion vocabulary – and you can provide that by asking questions such as, “Were you angry?”, “Did you feel sad?”, “Were you frightened?”

As well by practicing what you preach, your child is able to model a more effective form of communication.

3. Teach empathy

Young children often pay little mind to the effect their behavior might have on everyone else. If your child hits, bites or kicks, get down to his level and calmly ask him how he would feel if someone did that or tell him/ her.  Prompting such as, “If your sister kicked you like that it would hurt you and make you cry,” can facilitate understanding of their own behavior.

4. Practice what you preach

Offer verbal alternatives to their rage by saying, “Why don’t you try that next time?”  If a tantrum is brewing, remind him/ her by saying, “Use your words, Tom” – for example and be sure to praise when action is done, perhaps via a Reward Chart with a star for every day he doesn’t hit or by saying something like, “I’m so happy you didn’t lose your temper when Karina was playing with your toys.”


5. Brainstorm solutions

If your child doesn’t have the verbal skills to communicate himself in a non-violent way, then teach him. Children enjoy pretend play and you can use that to teach them how to react to the things that tend to trigger their anger and frustration.  Role-play a situation that would normally have your child going into a tantrum and work out how he can resolve it without physical altercation.

6. Teach him how to calm down, not to react

Dr Sal Severe recommends deep breathing as an easy technique young children can use to defuse anger- a technique us adults can learn as well J. He suggests showing your child what to do by placing your hand on your chest and getting him to do the same while taking in two deep breaths. The hand on the chest serves a handy visual cue that you can use to remind your child to take a step back from what’s agitating him: just do it if you see him start to get angry and frustrated.

7. Lay it on the line clearly by setting boundaries

Sometimes young children need it spelled out so they can see how their behavior relates back to Mommy and Daddy pulling them up all the time. Your child reacts aggressively when you try to enforce rules and limits – so he gets told stop.  Explain to him in simple terms the connection between those two events: “Jack, being told to stop makes you cranky. But if you keep hitting and biting, I’m going to keep telling you to stop. If you stop doing it then I won’t have to ask you in an stern manner- you make the decision.”

8. Operate a zero-tolerance policy

Do not tolerate aggressive behavior at all, in any way, shape or form. As with every other aspect of parenting, consistency is key. The only way to stop your child from being aggressive is to make a House Rule that aggression is not acceptable.

9. Don’t physically hit your child

If you’re in the habit of smacking your child in the heat of the moment, you need to express your own frustration more constructively.   Again, back to Tip #4– practice what you preach.

10. Manage your own anger

If you can’t control your own emotions, it’s likely your child able not able to as well. “Your children learn to manage their anger by watching the way you manage your own,” cautions Dr Sal Severe. “It’s a sobering thought, but anger habits are learned.”

If your child’s aggressive behavior is disrupting your home and putting family members or others at risk, and he reacts explosively to even the mildest discipline techniques, speak to your General Practitioner. He/ She may be able to refer you to a child psychologist or counselor who can teach you alternative ways of interacting with your child that will help you manage his anger more effectively.

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