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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 30

Ways to Trick your Baby:

Problem: Your kid is having a meltdown. It may have started out as a minor disagreement over some toy or distress that he can't find something he is looking for, but given a few minutes, it's grown to a fullblown tantrum.

Solution: Use a time out, but depending on age, don't think of it as a punishment.  I just realized this the other day, but here, when we use time outs, it's purely a calming down period. After a certain point, all logic is lost on my two year olds. They wouldn't be able to understand punishment in their state of distress.  Some of my friends are able to do times outs and have their children come out saying 'I'm sorry,' and putting on their happy faces.  We're not there yet. So, I put them in a safe spot to calm down, and as soon as they've made it over the freak-out hump, I start talking to them and explaining the situation, and what they need to do when it happens again.  If I waited for apologies and happy faces, we'd never do another thing that day.  If I allow them to continue on with their day without a sitdown period where I'm with them, they would quickly spiral back to the same argument they were having...with the same an endless loop.

Ways Your Baby Tricks You:

Problem: It takes more than a few minutes for your child to calm down, and you can't leave them in their timeout spot crying all day.

Solution: I mentioned before that we do all of our hugging on the green couch, but that's not entirely true.  The twins take time outs in their room.  If they are not calming within a minute or two, I will go in there and allow them to get out their feelings until they feel like a hug.  Then we hug on their bed for a few minutes before I start explaining the situation and how they must act in the future.  It helps them to know that it is the behavior that is being frowned upon, not them.  And these days, the babies will even ask for a hug on the bed if they are particularly upset.  They associate the green couch with regular frustration, and bed hugs with what they consider extreme distress at certain events.


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  1. You are such a smart, insightful, GOOD mom! I wonder if having two at the same time significantly accelerates the learning curve? It must :) You are just awesome!

  2. Thank you. I really appreciate that. Especially since you were able to even read this post through all the typos (I work an overnight shift on Fridays and am always less alert the next day.)

    I would say that having two means I can't get away with certain parenting methods that work for others, so I have to improvise sometimes. LOL

  3. I think the key is exactly what you said at the end - it works so well because they know it is about the behaviour, and not them. Sounds like a great method: anything that involves hugs is awesome to me!

    ps- Adding you to my blog roll :)

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