Over the last few months, I have received hundreds of queries from worried parents on how to help their child manage their feelings or how to improve a child’s emotional intelligence. I finally penned my thoughts into a step wise post. Here is a step by step guide as to what helps me and what could help you, with tweaking, to your own family’s philosophies. This older post may help one handle tantrums specifically and gently, whereas the following steps is a general long term agenda to help a child’s emotional quotient. This goes for the everyday grind, and traumatic incidents or children with special needs may need streamlined strategies.
1. Setting realistic expectations
Let’s be honest. How many times do we lose our temper or get carried away by a feeling, everyday? It isn’t fair to expect children to be in control of their emotions all the time. Despite V telling us clearly if she is upset or cranky, there have been days the corresponding behaviour is hard to handle.… Click to read the rest
The post yesterday spoke about why raising hands or threatening a child does not work. But then, how does one deal with difficult behaviour, especially tantrums? Let us talk about handling difficult situations in a gentle manner. Here are a few strategies that work wonders for me.
Step 1: Understand the limit
I ask myself why I say no. Sometimes, the limit comes from a place of safety, but sometimes, it could be my anxiety or a bad day making me grouchy. I use the simple 3Rs rule. The behavior must be respectful towards self, towards others and towards the environment. If not, it is a strict no. If yes, I ask myself again why I am saying a no. For example, saying no to playing with the knife vs saying no to the child wanting to help roll chapatis simply because I’m tired. (Again, this does not mean I have to say yes if I am tired.… Click to read the rest
Ever since my first module with educational psychology, I find reading up on experiments on conditioning and reinforcement, fascinating. And naturally, my spirit is a positive cheerleader. I love dishing out praise easily. So believe me, this post and the contents that I’ve been trying to follow is not too easy.
At about 2 years of age, V started excellent focus in her work. And I realized, I wasn’t needed to say , ‘Wow!’ Because, her eyes would light up when she finished the task, before the Wow! That is when I learnt that the sensitive periods and work provide enough intrinsic motivation without need for my empty words.
Why I try to avoid “Good jobs!”
Words of praise become great extrinsic motivators. This is great for people who need an external push. But with children who are already internally motivated, this is not necessary at all.
The joy and accomplishment a child feels on completion of a task is taken away when praise is given precedence.