There are a few areas of parenting that can seem to cause conflict over and over again. The good news is, there are also some gentle parenting techniques to help calm the situation or even avoid the flare-up happening in the first place.
Here are five times conflict is likely to occur with your child and how to remedy it.
This is one of those necessary jobs which can start to fill everyone with dread.
When it comes to important yet repetitive tasks like this, you must have a clear routine which means it doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise when it’s time to do it.
Implementing your routine won’t be a quick fix if you are already in the cycle of tantrums at teeth brushing, but it should come with perseverance.
Allowing a child to participate can work wonders in lots of situations, so suggest they help with toothpaste or let them have a go at brushing their own teeth after you, and it might even become something they actually look forward to.
Conflict over getting dressed often stems from it being a rushed and even stressful experience. To avoid feelings of anxiety, provide as much time as possible and then offer some power over the process. For example, let them pick put their own socks, and put them on.
Helping them gain independence in dressing themselves will solve most conflicts and, in the long-run, will make less work for you too.
It might seem like it’s taking longer this way, but it’s infinitely quicker than dealing with a child point-blank refusing to get dressed!
Many food refusals and mealtime meltdowns can be remedied by offering choice.
Instead of saying “you must eat the carrots and peas”, while preparing the meal, try offering a choice of vegetables and let them choose the two they want. This gives the child a little control over their lives, and very often, that’s all they really need.
Getting them involved in preparing the food too will make them feel more inclined to eat what they have on their plate because they helped to cook it.
Creating a loving and calming bedtime ritual will make it enjoyable. While routine will work wonders here, you can also make it a special time in the day when you will connect with your child, snuggle up with a book of their choice, talk to them about their day and stay with them while they fall asleep.
Making it feel like a safe time full of love and attention will be something everyone looks forward to.
Whether it’s leaving the park, a friend’s party or something else they wish could last forever; it is a really tough call to get them to depart with a smile on their face.
While you are unlikely to achieve that, you can reduce the shock factor of having to say goodbye by giving a 30 minute and 10-minute warning. Be understanding that it’s tough to have to go. You won’t always avoid tears, but you should avoid a tantrum.
Gentle parenting isn’t about being a pushover; it’s about understanding your child is a person too, and by giving them a little autonomy, fewer unpleasant surprises, and lots of understanding, you will find there’s much less friction between you.