No one is a perfect parent, not even me, as a parenting expert. There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to raising kids. However, there are certain parenting mishaps we just shouldn't do or let our toddlers see. As a veteran parent and former nanny, I've had plenty of experience with toddlers who hit. It's not always something the parent is doing. But there are at least 5 parenting no-nos that could teach toddlers to use violence to get their way. Are you unintentionally participating in these parenting no-nos that may encourage hitting in toddlers?
Fighting in front of toddlers is a big parenting no-no. Arguing in front of your toddler can cause him stress, frustration, anger, and other issues. When this fighting is physical, it is even worse. Domestic violence is never appropriate. But it's especially inappropriate in front of a toddler. By hitting each other in front of watchful little eyes, you are encouraging hitting in your toddler. Counseling, separation, or even jail time for the offending party may be the best option for a couple that takes this route. Seek authorities and a professional's guidance right away if there is any physical violence in your home.
Being physical in anger can encourage hitting, even if you are not directly hitting anyone. Slamming items down, throwing things, or hitting things when frustrated teaches your toddler to be physical when upset. While you may not be hitting a person, you are still acting out your anger in a negative physical manner. Parenting behaviors like this encourage hitting in toddlers. If you feel like you need to do something physical to express the anger, try jogging, yoga, playing basketball, or another form of exercise.
Treating animals poorly can encourage hitting in toddlers. As the parent, you are supposed to be a positive example. Animals are living beings, just like you and I. Mistreating animals not only teaches your toddler to do the same. But it also teaches him to use violence when annoyed with something. Children, especially toddlers, follow the lead of their parents. They learn by observance. Even when you think they are not watching, they are. If you can't have a pet in your home without hitting and other negative treatment, please find a new, more loving, home for the animal. This will be good for your toddler, as well as the pet
Laughing at violence is never good. Certain television programs and movies may make a mockery of violent acts. While older children may possibly understand the difference between movies and real life, a toddler may not. The same is true for video games that encourage hitting and other violence as a way to get ahead in the game. Then, of course there is reality. Never, ever laugh about violent acts in your toddler's presence. While it may not be intentional, by doing this, you are encouraging hitting and other forms of violence. In a toddler's eyes, laughing may mean that the violence is OK.
Spanking can also encourage hitting. Yes, I know I am going to upset some people by saying this. I respect that not everyone has the same disciplinary methods. But in my experience, toddlers whose parents used spanking for discipline hit far more than those whose parents used other methods. If you think about it for a moment, it makes sense. Spanking is the act of hitting someone for an undesired behavior. In a toddler's eyes, this may send the message that when they don't like a behavior in another person, they should hit that person. There are more positive forms of discipline than spanking that still teach your toddler effectively.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Your toddler is having a meltdown that takes the effort of four nurses just to get a look at her ears. Ten minutes later, they are still trying to get her to say "ah" to do a quick strep test. If this sounds like your child, you could use some help soothing those doctor's visit tantrums. The methods I used on my own children have been put to the test and proven successful time and again.
Bring distractions to the doctor's office. Healthy snacks, like trail mix, work wonders for keeping kids in a good mood. It also keeps them busy during less comfortable moments. Books and toys can come in handy for the waiting time, as well as during stressful times. Crayons and a coloring book can soothe the nerves and keep a toddler's mind off other things. When tantrums occur, distractions are often more effective than words for toddlers. They may tune out your voice. But their eyes may light up at the sight of something fun.
Have a soothing item handy. Even if you use other items for distraction, always have a special item for dire situations. This should be whatever soothes your toddler. In case a tantrum occurs at the doctor visit, this will be your secret weapon, so to speak. It might be a favorite blanket or toy. As long as it is something your child is very attached to, it will do the trick for the moment. Use the other distraction items for minor issues and keeping your little one busy. Only save the special item for the critical moments, such as getting shots or any other moments your child may have a tantrum.
Hold your child during the examination. Most pediatricians understand that kids can get a little frightened. When my kids were toddlers, the doctor would let me hold them during the examination. Most every child sees their parent as a comfort zone. It's also easier to keep your child's arms from grabbing at the doctor or his instruments when he needs to get close. Plus, you get to hug your child right after the examination is complete, which will be a great soother for you both.
Make it fun. Try turning the doctor's visit into something to look forward to. If you make it into an adventure, your child is likely to follow suit. During the moments when the doctor is not in the room, you can show your child around and explain things. Emphasize on what a cool place it is. You can make comments such as "Isn't it neat how the doctor can see all the way inside your ears with this?" "It's so cool that he can tell if you're sick or not just by doing this." "Good thing we have doctors to help us out." When kids hear these things, it is definitely more soothing than "Sit down and relax" or "Don't touch that. It's dangerous." You can keep them safe without making the doctor's office seem so scary and dangerous.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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