Since opening up years ago about my spirited child (who also happens to be a boy), I have talked to SO many women experiencing the same challenges of raising little ones that are different than us. I’ve talked frequently about what works for me but wanted to create a tangible source with action items you can utilize at home. Everyone is different so let your intuition guide you. I will be sharing more on this soon!
- Positive Physicality
Boys, especially mine, are extremely physical. This is OKAY! It’s the way they process information, the way they show love, the way they express anger, and the way they problem solve. The more you can give them positive physicality the less aggressive they will be when negativity rises. Keep them busy and active. In our experience, electronics exasperate aggression because their minds are so stimulated but their bodies aren’t moving. We severely limit time with electronics at home and turn it off immediately when we see signs of this.
- See the Good
Acknowledge the good. Boys (and girls) want to feel proud! I shifted my language years ago from constantly saying “stop doing that” to “thank you for being polite!” Or “I am so grateful you picked up your toys the first time I asked!” As I’ve searched for the good in my children more frequently, they see it too! And that gives them the confidence to continue to improve and want to be helpers in our home.
- Walk away
I talk about this a lot with my buddy who likes to throw pretty intense tantrums. I used to send him to time out or his room but I noticed that when I matched his energy in anger and yelling, it only made things worse. When I need space, I remove myself. I say, “You are welcome to throw this fit but not around me.” I’ve noticed that if he can’t have my attention while he’s raging then it doesn’t last long.
Be quick to forgive. I used to punish my kids by showing them how upset they made me. I would withhold love or affection for a while just to prove my point. I was learning. Now I am quick to accept apologies and to bundle them up in love and positive reinforcement. Children need to know they are not bad! That they are just simply learning how to manage here on earth and you’re going to be their side kick in that process!