There are many words, actions and attitudes towards our children that we would like to erase… Because we know they are mistakes.
Gaffes or inappropriate reactions with our children are sometimes unconscious. That’s why we present this sample of common mistakes young moms make gathered by our collaborator, Solène Bourque, psychoeducator. Mrs. Bourque, who is also a special education teacher, explains why we should avoid those mistakes and gives us tips and best practices.
Say no to a young child without compromising
“Don’t touch that”, “Don’t go there”, “Don’t do that”… We forbid, we prohibit and we ban so much that it is impossible to count how many times our children are turned down in a day.
The problem is, by hearing “no” all the time, your one, two or three year-old will soon answer no all the time too! It could worsen his ‘no’ phase.
It doesn’t mean that we should stop forbidding ether! It is only preferable to give options to our child. For example, if you don’t want him to touch a bowl on a shelf, you can tell him that he can still play with the plastic containers…
“You must give the impression that your child still has some control over his life”, says Mrs. Bourque.
Finish your plate if you want dessert
We should not negotiate and barter when it comes to food.
According to Mrs. Bourque, it is a habit inherited from previous generations and we should get rid of it. She suggests telling our child “you don’t have to eat everything but eat a bit of everything (vegetables, meat…)”.
Or “If you think you didn’t eat enough to grow strong after that incomplete meal, you may have a dessert but it will be yogurt or fruits (a healthy dessert). If mom and dad think you ate enough, you may have a cookie”.
Impose an arbitrary decision
You daughter is hell-bent on wearing a pink sweater but you think it is too chic for the occasion. Instead of arguing, suggest two other options and let her choose.
Raising your voice… or screaming!
You will convey that bad-habit to your child who will end up screaming at the slightest frustration.
You must make the difference between being firm and raising your voice, says Mrs. Bourque.
Neglect the bedtime routine
Dinner with your friends was longer than expected and you go home late. Sitting in the car, your children are already fast asleep. At home, you put on the pyjamas and send your children to bed… not! The youngest claims his story!
Even if it means sleeping 5 minutes later, it is better to yield, but just a little bit. Shorten the routine and the story but “It is important to maintain the routine”, says Mrs. Bourque.
Talk behind his back… in front of him
We like to tell our friends about the good and bad things our children do. You big four year old will probably be hurt if you say, in front of him and your friend, that he wetted the bed last night, even if it seems harmless and you did not intend to make fun of him.
Avoid that kind of mistake!
Emphasize on the bad actions and ignore the good
Children often do bad deeds to attract attention so it is obvious that if you pay more attention to them, he will start again, to get your attention.
Of course, you don’t stop discipline but you must find balance between praising the good deeds and reprimanding bad deeds.