Have you ever been on a plane with a screaming toddler nearby? Have you ever been the parent of a screaming child on an airplane? Many people can relate to both situations! It's almost a right of passage of a young parent.
This happened to me when my son was one years old, on the way to Utah to visit my family. I was excited about the trip, booked the flights and was ready to go. I had everything planned, but there were some things that I didn't take into consideration.
As it turns out, I didn't consider the time zone difference. Or the fact that we would be traveling during the time that my son typically eats. As a parent, you know how important keeping children on a schedule can be. These small details got overlooked when planning the trip.
To add to the trend of things not going according to plan, the kindle I brought for my son broke the day of the flight. Because of the change in schedule, among other things, my son ended-up in not the best of moods. My wife and I tried everything to calm him down, unfortunately, to no avail.
The next thing I remember is walking up and down the isle, holding my son, trying to keep him calm… during the 5 hour flight! It seemed like 3 hours went by, with me pacing up and down the isle, trying to keep my son calm. If I sat down, things would only get worse.
That's when I realized how helpless I was as a parent, and I needed help.
I stumbled upon a book, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk,” and it gave me a few skills that I'd like to share with you today.
Be Descriptive With Your Praise
It can be humbling when someone a quarter of your size, who can't even read, can have so much control over you. I learned early on that the more I wanted my son to do something specific, the less likely it was to happen. Even raising my voice would not increase the likelihood of him doing as I asked.
The secret I learned from the book is to be descriptive with your praise. Kids love to hear praise and earn approval from their parents.
If you praise the things that you want to be repeated, it's more likely to happen.
Get Good At Saying No, Without Saying No
No one likes to be told no. When someone hears no, it can sometimes act as a challenge, daring the declined individual to prove them wrong and get their way.
There are other ways to still tell someone no, without actually saying no. For example, you could answer with a question that would potentially influence the individual to understand that it's a no on their own.
Let People Learn to Solve Their Own Problems
It's easy and natural to jump in and help someone find a solution to their challenges, and sometimes it's absolutely the right thing to do.
But other times, it can help an individual grow by allowing them to find solutions on their own. Letting them solve their problems on their own can help them solve bigger problems in the future.
And you never know, they might come up with a better solution than you would have yourself!
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