Listening is hard to do

I specialise in children aged 2 to 12, and one of the most important things I try to convey to parents is the need to listen to your child. If you have a child who keeps having temper tantrums, you need to think about what is causing the tantrum. For example, if your child always has a meltdown in the middle of the supermarket, you need to try and work out why that is. A young child may not be able to tell you why, but by trying different things out, you may be able to eliminate the problem. It could be that they are bored and need to be more involved in the shopping by asking them to get the apples etc. Taking someone along to help you can also do the trick. They could also be tired and hungry so changing the time of the visit may be a good idea. It is possible that your child has worked out if they scream and shout you will pick them up a packet of sweets! If this is the case, then changing this dilemma will take longer, but can be done.

The tantrum is a form of communication, and although this behaviour is not what any of us like to witness, it is a sign that we need to listen. By throwing the tantrum the child doesn’t necessarily get what they want, but as the parents and experienced adults, we need to listen to what is being expressed and see what changes can be made to try and accommodate everyone’s wishes. It is difficult for children to find the words they want to say and it can all explode at times. Supporting them in their time of need is important, however hard.

Also, remember how difficult it is to be on the receiving end of that tantrum. It is never easy whether your child is 2 or 15 to have them screaming in your face. Our children will not always like the decisions we make for them and yes sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we need to find the ‘middle ground’, and compromise on what we both want to make things work. You base your parenting on how you were raised by your parents, your own personal experiences and also what you have learnt from others around you. What works for one child, may not work for another so keeping an open mind and listening to everyone is needed to try and keep a family happy.

If you are looking for more parenting advice, please visit www.thefamilyfairy.co.uk or call Sharon on 07950859971

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