Here is the deal. I am no parenting expert, and I do not have enough experience to teach a parenting class. This is simply in response to the questions I keep hearing about my philosophy. I seem to get a lot of comments about my son and his behavior that are very positive. This is not meant to shame anyone, but to give you all encouragement and perhaps some new ideas. Ultimately, God gave us our children to lead and to help to equip them to be who He created them to be. So, here are a few things I have observed concerning the behavior of my toddler….using my son as an example.
Over stimulation breeds tantrums
Through a process of elimination, we noticed that the more television our son watches, the worse his behavior. For a while, we would turn the TV on every time he asked to watch a movie and for different shows we knew he liked. When I got home from work, my wife would inform me that he was not listening, throwing things, and yelling a lot. When we strictly limited TV…his behavior got much better. We have also seen this in other instances…when he is over stimulated with so many activities, sounds, and visual input this type of result occurs.
Diet can be a contributing factor to behavior
For my son, we were able to find a link between irritability and gluten. Also, as every parent knows, when a child ingests too much sugar things can get interesting. Too much sugar for a young child can make them unable to concentrate and make them angry.
Quality time improves behavior
This one is hard for me to talk about without getting a little teary-eyed. The fact is…when I put more emphasis on my work, meetings, and time away from home than my time with my kids…behavior worsens. Quality and quantity are important. Enough said here…I am feeling too convicted.
Physical touch can neutralize
Hugs. Wrestling. Etc. Sometimes my son just wants me to embrace him. Sometimes sweaty boy play time cures a lot of issues.
Talk to your child…not in their vicinity.
I read a statistic the other day that said the average parent only spends 9 minutes or seconds (can’t remember which one) a day talking to their child directly with eye contact. There needs to be more of this in my opinion.
Say no….and mean it.
Sometimes I say no just because I like seeing my son whimper…JUST KIDDING. But I do think it is important to say NO, and be consistent with the consequences and follow up. It is a respect issue.
From time to time…make a fool of yourself
I love playing with my toddler…like a toddler would play. With silly thoughts…imagination and made up settings. It is therapeutic for me, and during play time, my son gets to be leader and invite me into his world.
I love being a Daddy.