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Parents Zone

How to treat when toddler has temper tantrums? 6 tips to help toddler control their emotions

September 2022

Written by: Child Psychological Development Association, Psychological Counselor, Mr. Ching Wai Keung

 

“Happiness, anger and sadness” are emotions that everyone has, and children are no exception. During the epidemic, parents who work from home and spend a lot of time with their children will naturally have to face moments of tantrum of children. We need to understand that it is very important for children to be able to express their anger in order to develop their autonomy. When a child enters early childhood (around 2 to 3 years old), the developmental crises are “Autonomy vs Shame & Doubt. What we should deal with is the child’s behavior due to emotion, not prohibit or even deny the child’s emotion. To help your child control his emotions, you may refer to the following six tips.

 

Imitate parents’ expressions of anger

 

 

In addition, anger is a common emotion, not only for children, but also for parents. When children try to express their anger, they will use their parents as an object of imitation. When parents are angry with their children, or when parents argue with each other, children will use these behaviors as an important reference for expressing and controlling their emotions (Bandura, 1977). Arguments, malicious taunts, and even violence between parents can heighten a child’s sensitivity to anger and interfere with normal development (Cummings, Pellegrini, Notarius, & Cummings, 1989). Therefore, in order to reduce temper tantrums and control the emotions of children, parents must first pay attention to their own ways of dealing with each other.

Use tips to solve problems. 6 tips to help toddler control their emotions

 

What other methods can help toddler control their emotions and reduce the intensity of anger? Berkowitz and Thompson have the following suggestions (Berkowitz, 1973; Thompson, 1990).

 

1. Ignore offensive behavior.

If the purpose of the child’s tantrum is to get a specific object (e.g., a toy), the parent should not give satisfaction to the child for the behavior, nor should the parent punish the child for the behavior, but should simply not respond.

 

2. Use of Emotional Corner.

Set up a quiet area in the home without any stimulation or attraction as a quiet area for the child. When the child loses his temper or acts inappropriately, arrange for the child to calm down in the emotional corner. This is not necessarily the same as reprimanding, but rather allows the child to soothe his or her emotions, just as if the child needs to go to the bathroom in an emergency, which is a normal need. If used appropriately, children may naturally go to the mood corner to relieve themselves when they are in the mood in the future, which helps them to control their emotions.

 

3. to awaken emotions that are incompatible with anger, such as compassion for the victim.

 

4. reduce exposure to situations or things that may trigger children’s tantrums: when children have not fully developed the ability to control themselves, reducing the chances of children’s tantrums is tantamount to reducing conflicts between parents and children.

  

5. explaining the consequences of the behavior.

 

6. examine the causes of the child’s tantrums.

 

(Development Through Life, Barbara M. Newman, Philip R. Newman, Wadsworth, 2003, pp. 197)

The above-mentioned programs are designed for different situations. If a child acts violently towards others out of anger, parents can focus on explaining the consequences and evoking empathy for the victim. If he is angry because he wants to get an object, parents can ignore his negative behavior, etc.

 

Secondly, the above options can be used in combination, for example, when the child has calmed down, the parents can explain the consequences to him again. In the end, of course, it depends on the child’s ability to choose a solution. For example, you spend 10 minutes explaining the consequences to your child before he can talk, it seems to only increase the conflict between the two parties.

 

 

Once parents have decided on a response strategy for each situation, consistency is the most important thing. Simply put, consistency can be broken down into two levels: First, the same solution will be used for the same behavior, so that the child is not confused by the ignoring strategy one time and the scolding the next. Secondly, each caregiver will use the same solution, thus reinforcing the message to the child that “this behavior is inappropriate”.

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Parents Zone

Becoming child’s mirror

September 2022

Written by: Founder & Volunteer Director of Good Love Passion 

 

         Lam Ho Pui Yee

 

Parents are the ones from whom young children observe and learn correct and appropriate behaviors. Children learn values, beliefs and attitudes from their parents and family members, so even though there are many educational institutions in society, the family is still the center of education and has the most profound impact on a person. The more good habits a person has, the better his or her character will be, and all habits begin with the parents.

 

For example, an immature person acts like a child, making poor judgments and making bad decisions, being self-centered and wanting everyone to do what he or she says, and being irresponsible and unable to play his or her role. How can parents help their children to become wise, judgmental, loving, non-egoistic, responsible and willing to take responsibility?

 

I suggest that parents should treat their children with the following behaviors and values as early as possible, because before the age of one, children mainly rely on their sense of touch to understand the world, and they are always observing and absorbing stimuli and learning from the environment, including adults’  words, actions and sounds, which are the objects of imitation and the basis of learning. Through continuous training and efforts, we can teach them to behave seriously. Therefore, parents must.

 

1. Trust your child

Recognize the child’s ability to do what the child wants to do, we as parents can set a protective boundary for what our children want to do and then observe. Success or failure is not important, the important thing is to give your child the opportunity to try, but also to let them know that they have the support and backing of their parents.

 

2. Do what you said

Teach your children to be trustworthy and responsible to others and to keep their promises. If you fail to do so after repeated efforts, you should sincerely explain why and apologize. Teach your child to consider carefully whether he or she is capable and sure of doing what he or she wants to do before promising someone else, and not to promise easily what he or she cannot do.

3. Be open-minded

Believe that children have different abilities, so be more observant, listen to their requests, and have an open mind. Parents do not need to be overly caring, they should always be warm and fuzzy, and encourage their children to be “themselves” instead of being the children we “want to be” and to walk a path that is truly theirs.

 

Our children are like a living mirror, in front of us every day, for us to reflect on and think about. If our children are inattentive, impatient, and irresponsible, and if they lose their temper and blame others when they encounter frustration, these are all the result of our bad example as adults, and we should try to correct our attitude and try to control our emotions. In this way, parents can not only accompany their children to grow up, but also guide them to establish good behavioral habits, positive attitudes and correct values.

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Parents Zone

Open-ended questions help enhance children’s associative skills

September 2022

Many parents hope to enhance their children’s thinking skills. In fact, as long as parents properly guide their children to connect some small things in life and then ask leading

questions, they can consciously think about the things they see and related knowledge. For example, when children see an apple, let them think about what kind of object is

also round or red; when they hear the sound of birds, they will think about what kind of animal can fly.

  

 

Ask your child more questions that are not restrictive

 When parents ask children questions, do not force them to answer or ask for a definite

answer, or even ask them to answer the question right away because they may still be

thinking about it. Parents do not need to ask any restrictive questions and can ask whatever comes to mind, such as what kind of objects chopsticks are like and what kind of

people wear uniforms like students. ….. In addition to making them think more, parents can also think and discuss with their children as a parent-child activity, which helps to enhance their relationship.

 

 

In addition to asking individual questions, parents can also allow children to answer

 

questions with their siblings or friends. For children with higher ability, parents can let them answer more different answers; for children with average ability, they can answer fewer answers; for those with weaker ability, parents can guide them to answer through appropriate prompting and demonstration.

Parents can look for questions in their lives

 

Parents can look for questions in their lives that they can ask. They can even try to ask questions that are imaginative and open to discussion, so that their children can use

their imagination and associative power. For example, parents can ask their children

what things are round outdoors, what things in the house are made of iron, what foods

are red, and so on. On the other hand, questions with definite and positive answers,

such as math questions (1 plus 1 equals how many), are generally called “closed-ended questions” and are not very helpful in improving children’s associative skills because

 

they only have specific answers.

In fact, creation and association should start from the smallest things, which is a good way to train children’s associative and thinking skills. Therefore, parents should start

from today to enhance your child’s associative skills!

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Parents Zone

Wear face mask for long time during Epidemic.
How to make children learn to “look at people’s eyebrows and eyes”?

September 2022

Written by: Hong Kong Speech and Swallowing Therapy Centre
Senior Speech Therapist Eunice Siu

In our daily interactions with others, we not only observe others’ behaviors, but also “explain” and “predict” others’ behaviors. Theory of mind is the ability to infer or substitute other people’s mental states, such as their thoughts, beliefs, desires, and intentions, etc., and to use this ability to explain other people’s thoughts, perceptions, and predict their behaviors. Theory of mind can be subdivided into “emotion recognition”, “beliefs” and “pretend play”.

The developmental period for children’s theory of mind is from approximately 3 to 7 years of age. However, before the age of 3, children need to master the following skills to effectively develop theory of mind skills.

1. noticing and imitating the behavior of people around them
2. recognizing the emotions of others and using words to express them (e.g., happy, sad, angry, surprised)
3. participates in pretend play
4. understands that different people have different desires and preferences
5. understands that people will act to get what they want (e.g. reach for candy)
6. understands the causes and consequences of unsympathetic emotions (e.g. if I hit my brother, my mom will be mad and then she will scold me)

Ways to improve theory of mind are:

1. Use more psychologically relevant words when talking to your child

Using psychologically related words to communicate with children can help children understand their own and others’ psychological conditions more specifically. Examples of psychologically related words are “think,” “pretend,” “know,” “believe,” “feel,” and words related to emotions. Pay attention to what your child is trying to say and then respond. For example, “Ah! You want cake”, “Don’t be afraid! You think I’m gone, but I’m still here,” and “Mommy’s mad at you for hitting your brother. Parents can also explain to their children the psychological situation of others, e.g., “Mei-mei is smiling so much when she receives a birthday present, she should be very excited.

2. Participate in role-playing games with your child

Role-playing games encourage children to put themselves in different situations and characters’ perspectives to draw inferences about their behavior. To begin, children can pretend to be common everyday characters, such as mothers, doctors, teachers, and drivers. Parents should pay attention to the fact that both the words and behaviors in the game should be substituted for the role played. This activity helps children experience a variety of emotions, thoughts and interactions in different social situations, and learn to observe, imitate, anticipate, review and adjust their thoughts and behaviors.

I hope parents can make good use of the opportunity to share and communicate more with their children in daily life, so that they can learn to “look at people’s eyebrows and eyes” (meaning read people’s faces) and become a “mind-reading detective”!

Source:
Hollin, P., Baron-Cohen, S.,& Hadwin,J.(1999). Teaching children with autism tomind-read. West Sussex, England: Wiely Press

Lowry, L.(2015).” Tuning in” to others: How young children develop theory of mind. The Hanen Centre.

Spastics Association of Hong Kong (2005). Connecting: Developing social skills in children with autism. Spastics Association of Hong Kong.