Hi Cape Cod Moms!
My name is Kelly Rodriguez and I am an Early Childhood Consultant that provides consultation to parents of young children who may have questions about their child's social or emotional development or are struggling with challenging behaviors. My office is located in Plymouth, but I typically see parents from all over the Southcoast and Cape. I am private pay only which may create some barriers for some parents, but I do offer workshops twice a month at a lower cost ( I attached the current flyer with the dates). Upon request I can bring the workshops to other community locations to make them more accessible for parents as well.
My contact information is below. You will be able to find out more about Early Childhood Consultation on the website www.earlychildhoodconsult.com or I would happy to set up a meeting or a phone call to discuss further.
Kelly A. Rodriguez, MSW, LCSW, CCLS
Early Childhood Consultation
by: Linda Bartosik
You say yes, your child says no. You say no, your child says yes. There's a lot of foot stamping and arm folding. Maybe a stomp down the hallway and a door slam.
Your child is quietly eating a sandwich at the counter. A sibling enters the room. Your child flings something (verbal or otherwise) in hopes of getting a reaction. You're wondering why this child is always like this. Pushing boundaries. Seeking attention (mostly the negative kind).
Hey mom, all this is perfectly normal. Your child is trying to gain control of his or her world by provoking you and other family members so they can practice negotiating the situations. They are learning to make decisions. They are learning how their choices play out and affect others, and in turn affect them. They need a safe arena to practice these skills. That safe arena would be the home and school environment.
Your children need a safe place in which to try things and fail or succeed. In over 35 years in the classroom I have found this the case is some way, shape, or form with every child. Some were more active and vocal than others, but in essence it was all toward the same goal - to practice taking on and balancing the challenges life presents.
For my last 23 years, I taught kindergarten. I reassured parents I would always be there for their child, but I would not jump in and do everything for them each time they struggled. At lunch I would require every child to try opening their own milk. I'd let them struggle a bit and usually they'd get it without my help. There's nothing like that "I did it!" smile when they saw me watching them. If they struggled too long, I'd walk over and pull the cardboard a bit and encourage them to try again, knowing they'd be successful. That bit of
control that I didn't steal by doing it for them was another brick put in place on their confidence wall.
Once a child feels that control over little things in their world, the testing of our patience usually subsides for a bit, but don't relax - in a few weeks they'll be back at it again. They experience a growth spurt and want more independence and control. Do you ever wonder "what got into my child lately"? Your child is growing and they need to make more choices and do more things for themselves so they get a feeling that they are heard, valued, and can control their world - kid power.
The next time you say no and they say yes, don't argue or keep repeating yourself. Stand your ground. Let them stomp around. They'll figure out on their own it isn't going to work. Then, when they are quiet, let them know your willing to listen to their "side", even though you're not changing your mind. By doing more listening and less arguing, you are not only setting the example for dealing with conflict, but you will learn surprising things about the way your child views the world.
One of my favorite things about teaching was talking to parents about their children. If you would like to talk about your child with a teacher, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from
Personal Blog: Another Day Goes By
By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Discipline Solution
Children resort to aggressive behaviors because of a lack of wisdom and self-control. It is not a sign that a child is hateful or mean. Kids are human beings and human beings will get angry, we can’t prevent that. What we can do is teach our children how to handle their frustration and anger in appropriate ways. If your child uses these physical acts to express her feelings, use some of the following tips to change her behavior.
Intercede before it happens
Watch your child during playtime. When you see her becoming frustrated or angry - intervene. Coach her through the issue. Teach her what to do, or model what to say to her friend. Or if she seems too upset to learn, redirect her attention to another activity until her emotions level out.
Teach and explain
It’s one thing to tell a child what not to do or to step into an argument and solve it yourself. It’s another thing entirely to teach her what to do in advance of the next problem. This can be done through role-play, discussion, and reading a few children’s books about angry emotions.
Examine hidden causes
Is your child hungry, tired, sick, jealous, frustrated, bored or scared? If you can identify any feelings driving your child’s actions you can address those along with the aggressive behavior.
Give more attention to the injured party.
Often the child who hits gets so much attention that the action becomes a way of gaining the spotlight. Instead, give more attention to the child who was hurt. After a brief statement, “No hitting!” turn and give attention to the child who was wronged, “Come here and Mommy will give you a hug and read you a book.”
Teach positive physical touches.
Show your child how to hold hands during a walk or how to give a back rub or foot massage. Teach a few physical games, like tag or cat’s cradle. Under direct supervision, children who are more physical can gain a positive outlet for their physical energy.
Teach the clapping method
Tell a child to clap his hands whenever he feels an urge to hit. This gives him an immediate outlet for his emotions and helps him learn to keep his hands to himself. An alternate is to teach him to put his hands in his pockets when he feels like hitting. Reward with praise anytime you see he’s successful.
Give your child a time out
To use Time Out when a child acts out aggressively, immediately and gently take the child by the shoulders, look him in the eye and say, “No hurting others, time out.” Guide the child to a chair and tell him, “You may get up when you can play without hitting.” By telling him that he can get up when he’s ready, you let him know that he is responsible for
controlling his own behavior. If the child gets up and hits again, say, “You are not ready to get up yet,” and direct him back to time out.
Avoid play hitting and wrestling
Young children who roughhouse with a parent or sibling during play time might then use these same actions during non-wrestling times. It can be hard for them to draw the line between the two. If you have a child who has trouble controlling his physical acts then avoid this kind of play.
Don’t lose control
When you see your child hurting another child it’s easy to get angry. This won’t teach your child what she needs to learn: how to control her emotions when others are making her mad. You are mad at her, so she’ll be watching how you handle your anger.
Don’t let your child watch violent TV
Children can become immune to the impact of violence, and they may copy what they see depicted on television. Avoid viewing shows that portray aggression as an appropriate way of handling anger.
Don’t assume your child can figure it out
If your child comes to you about a difficult situation, don’t send him away for tattling. But don’t step in and handle it for him, either. View his call for help as an invitation to teach him important social skills.
Don’t focus on punishment
More than anything your child needs instructions on how to treat other human beings, particularly during moments of anger or frustration.
Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Discipline Solution (McGraw-Hill 2007) http://www.nocrysolution.com
Let’s talk about the time Louis slapped me across the face.
Here’s the scene: Louis wants to have a sip of soda from my cup.... I’m holding him, I said “oh no that’s mommy’s soda, your cup is right here” in the nicest possible voice... he reaches out to grab for his cup (or so I think)... but then WHAM! Right in the face, open palm and all. And it hurt – there’s a lot of force in those chubby little hands. I thought terrible started at two, not at one and a half.
Let’s rewind to the week before this incident when I was at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s conference on Curriculum Development and Guiding Children’s Behavior, where I was soaking up knowledge
from very educated people on how to handle challenging behaviors. I learned that when children exhibit challenging behaviors it is our job as parents and educators to guide them in the right path, that children are not aggressive on
purpose, but rather because they haven’t learned impulse control and they don’t know any better. I nodded my head along with the speaker thinking “that’s right, if children don’t know their letters, we teach them. If children don’t know how to tie their shoes, we teach them. If children don’t know how to behave, we teach them.”
These are not the thoughts that ran from my stinging cheek to my head that day. It hurt and I almost dropped him on his little cushiony bum. Instead, I took a deep breath, looked at his angry little face, held it together and said “Louis you look very angry. You need to keep your hands on your own body, you hurt mommy.” Then he hit me in the face again. Did I mention we were at grandma’s house and my mom was watching? So I knew I had to get it right. I put him down and said “No thank you Louis. That hurts me.”
We all know what followed – the kicking, the screaming, the hitting the floor. During his tantrum, I said “You are angry now, but you will feel better soon.” After his tantrum, I handed him his cup again and gave him a snuggle.
Toddlers get angry, really, really, angry – that's no secret. Getting angry and expressing their emotions is a developmental milestone for toddlers. Identifying emotions is the first step in managing emotions. When your toddler
is angry, or happy, or sad – help them by labeling the emotion. If they are sad or angry, tell them it will get better. When it does get better, they will start to regard you as an emotional expert (even if you aren’t one!).
As usual, this ended up being more of a learning experience for me than it was for him. I have almost three decades of life learning on how to control my anger and I almost lost my temper, no wonder he got so angry and didn’t know what to do. Poor little guy, he’s got so much to learn – but luckily he’s got calm and loving adults to guide him and help him through. Plus, there’s always good hugs at the end – and who doesn’t love hugs? Thinking about it that way even takes the terrible out of the twos for me.... well mostly.
Great Resource: http://www.zerotothree.org/
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