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The Young And The Restless: Taming Kids End-Of-Day “Tantrums”

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I was recently discussing the difference between children today and during the time when most of us were kids. First off, not only were our parents allowed to discipline us, but also so were our relatives and, often times, friends and neighbors. Plus, it was a time, when parents felt it was THEIR responsibility to instill values in their children. Before going to weekly services, a restaurant, to the stores or even to someone else’s home, we were TOLD how to dress, act, and what was expected of us, as well as what the consequences would be if we didn’t abide (by the related rules). We were also (for the most part) told not to ask for anything and certainly not to touch anything. In fact, it was rare that most of our parents’ delicates were removed from our own homes. We simply KNEW what was “off-limits” and what was not.

However, many modern moms and dads, and maybe some of our own experience a phenomenon (with their kids) commonly called end-of-day meltdown.

What this refers to is a child’s predisposition to maintain a “positive” disposition for most of the day and while in the care of the caregiver, but to “suddenly” and “unexplainable” become “insufferable” by the time mom and dad are ready to pick him/her up.

According to experts, there may be many reasons for children to behave in this manner, including frustration and anger for your daily separation, and may be a mild form of protest.

And, they make the following suggestions:

· Get your child use to the transition gradually: It’s difficult for children to get accustomed to change, or a “hectic” and “hurried” lifestyle; so, when you expect to scoop your child up and dash out the door, you may be making matters worse. Instead, experts suggest investing a few minutes in helping your child get ready or showing you what he or she did during the day, even playing for a few moments or meeting some of his or her friends before again dashing off.

· Take some time out just for the two of you when you get home. While it’s likely you “do” have other chores, let them wait at least for 15 or 20 minutes so that you can have some special time with your child.

· Remain understanding and empathetic. Try not to judge your child too harshly for reluctant behaviour, but rather try to win him or her over with love and compassion.

· Offer plenty of opportunities for your child to make choices, and be ready to reward acceptable ones.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > The Young And The Restless: Taming Kids End-Of-Day “Tantrums”

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