Parenting via infographic, #8.
I’ve recently read two helpful books that use the latest findings by neuroscientists to help parents — more to come on those soon.
In the meantime, here’s the most helpful tip I learned. While I’ve long had the urge to tickle my daughter mid-fuss, and found it often took the tension out of the situation, now I have the science to know why it works… at least some of the time, when the fuss is basically over nothing much at all.
If you feel a little at a loss when irritated to reach for the funny, and tickling is not working or feasible, here’s a few more tried-and-true mommy stratagems from my own personal arsenal:
- Scold an inanimate object, the fake-meaner the better (“Diaper, why are you so uncomfortable?” “Door, why do you keep slamming yourself so hard? You know that’s not allowed…”).
- Sing a song the child knows well, but make the words super-silly (“Pi-ickle, pi-ickle, little star…”) If you can get them to correct you or quiet down to hear your next silly substitution, storm over.
- Make up a silly simile to communicate what you need to change about the situation (“Is that whiny noise the creaky door? Do you hear a creaky door? ‘Cuz that can’t be a child that sounds like that….” or “You are clinging to my back like peanut butter on a rice cake. Peanut butter, you are toooo sticky.”)
- Bumble something. Play like you are trying to reach for them but miss and end up hitting your own nose instead. Nothing is funnier than a grown-up missing the mark.
And here’s 7 more great ideas from another toddler mom. Chances are good that if you can get a child to crack a smile, the emergency will dissipate a bit, giving you both a chance to start over.
And the bonding from laughing together is the best stuff there is, really. It’s magical. Then you can have a conversation about what needs to happen next, with less rigidity from either of you and a little more fun.
Other posts you may like: