Kids are so very highly strung aren’t they?
They become emotional at the drop of a hat, any slight change or wrong word can set them off and send them over the edge without any warning at all.
They can change in seconds from loving angels to the devil child who you’d happily give away to the closest person at times – its times like these we often joke on social media that we have a ‘child for sale’ or to ask for reinforcements in the form of food or alcohol. Of course it’s not actually meant but is a way of reaching out and asking in a round about way for help or reassurance that this is normal.
I’ve always said no one would steal my kids or want them longer than a night at a time because they would be beating the doors down at sunrise to give them back. They are lovely but they are highly strung too. Fiesty, argumentative and loud but also loving and kind when they want to be.
All children have their moments, some more so than others.
How we handle these moments however defines how long they last, how often they happen and how we can hopefully avoid them happening in the first place.
Here are a list of 5 things that can provoke kiddie tantrums, not so we can all try to wind the kids up and provoke a tantrum but to help avoid them in the first place.
By the time children come home from school they are already tired and the last thing they really want to be doing is more work. Imagine coming home from work for the day and having to do more straight away – you wouldn’t be thrilled about it would you?
Look at when the work needs to be handed in. If it’s the next day then of course it needs doing that night but if not until the following week perhaps spending an hour over the weekend may be easier. Let them have a snack and a little play before ploughing straight into it.
Sit down and look at it together, talk about what they have to do and make sure they know what they need to do, how much detail whey need to go into, how much they have to read or write and ensure they know where to find the information they need to complete the tasks.
Hair washing/Bath time
Mine loved baths when younger but as they got older they lost their appeal and they became a struggle. Hair washing was a chore as Emmy’s hair got longer and because it meant sitting still she didn’t like it.
Get them involved, let them choose their bubble bath or even bath bombs.
Bath toys fast are outgrown past a certain age however mine still love a few empty pots or cups in the bath so they can have tea parties.
Join in with them, I don’t mean getting in with them (unless you want to that is) but be involved, use the opportunity to talk about their days, discuss upcoming events and make it a peaceful time to chat together.
You could also make it fun with shaving foam bath paints or even using shaving foam on a mirror to help with spelling practice. Then turn it into a game by letting them clean the mirror afterwards with water pistols filled with water (aimed at the mirror only) and a squeegee.
I don’t think anyone really likes tidying up and I know every time I ask mine to tidy their rooms or put their toys away it is met with arguments and stamped feet.
Teach by example, of course they will protest about picking up their clothes if you are leaving yours on the bedroom floor.
Make a house rule which suits you – perhaps they need to put one toy away before getting another out, move cups and plates to the sink once finished. These will depend on the age of your children.
If you give pocket money you could have set jobs they need to do to earn it – make their beds, put their toys away, load the dishwasher or even put their clean clothes into their wardrobes.
Mine hate being told it’s time for bed and will always procrastinate for as long as they possibly can.
Try to stick to a routine, head up to bed at a set time, read a story, have a chat or even watch a programme but have set rules on timing – how much they can watch, when they need to turn out their lights.
Have a count down before bed – give a 20 minute warning, a 10 minute one and then a 5 so they can gradually stop playing and be prepared instead of being met with the words “Bedtime now” when they are busy having fun.
Try to have a quiet time before heading up to bed – running madly around the house or garden will just have them over excited and take longer to calm down again.
More of a battle if you have fussier eaters or you have prepared food they don’t want.
Get children involved early on, this can be with meal planning – I don’t mean let them pick plain pasta for dinner every night but talk about the foods/meals you will be having and they could help choose one element of it perhaps. They could choose the vegetables to go with a roast, the toppings to put on homemade pizzas or even the decision between beans or spaghetti hoops with their fish fingers.
Let them help prepare and cook the food with you (depending on their age, or even just let them watch you prepare it), they could place the chopped vegetables into a saucepan, stir the batter for the cakes or Yorkshire puddings, they could even help to set the table.
Mine love helping as much as they can and at 4 and 7 they are able to do most of the food prep with help.
Knowing what my children are likely to tantrum over does help to pre-empt when they are likely to kick off. This means that I can look for the warning signs and try to defuse before they start or quickly after starting.
Are there things which set your children off or signs you look for before they start?
If you’ve enjoyed this post then please do read other Top Tips from a Former Nanny (click on the badge below)