How to Raise a Responsible Child, by Laura Markham
We all want to raise responsible children. And we all want to live in a world where others have been raised to be responsible, a world where adults don’t shrug off their responsibilities as citizens. As my son said, surveying the littered park when he was three, "Don't grownups know they have to clean up their own messes?"
So how do we raise our kids to take responsibility for their choices and their impact on the world?
Children don't want just to be doted on. They need, like the rest of us, to feel like they matter to the world, like their lives make a positive contribution.
Tantrums are really, really hard. Dealing with a child who is having a meltdown is one of the hardest part of parenting. Toddlers are going through so many changes, physically, mentally and emotionally, they have a constant innate drive toward independence, they often feel insecure and unsafe and they need mommy or daddy all the time. Meltdowns happen because they can't express themselves any other way. When your child is having a meltdown try and think of the emotion being expressed and stick with it. Is she/he really mad? Frustrated? Angry? Disappointed? Tired? Scared? Worried? Empathize as authentically as you can. Show your little one that you are there for them even if they have big feelings. If you can model for them calm and empathetic responses they will learn to deal with big emotions on their own. But it takes time to learn how to handle big feelings and as a parent, in the moment, it's not always easy to stick with the emotional piece. We want the meltdown to stop and we want to solve the problem immediately. Try to see a tantrum as a growth experience. This article by Dr. Tina Bryson explores the reasons why we shouldn't ignore a tantrum and how to handle them. If you haven't read her books or seen her speak she is fantastic. - Joanna Port
Why We Should NOT Ignore a Tantrum 2012.01.02 By Tina Payne Bryson, PhD