Are you one of those parents who feels that your kid has a quick temper? Or portray selfishness at times? Also known as [公主或王子病] (princess/prince ‘illness’). This saying often refers to the person being a spoilt brat or everything is about himself. Fret not…you are not alone! Some friends have shared their concerns with me that their kid is showing signs and behaviour of such and they are worried this behaviour will continue to grow into their character. Therefore, they are looking for ways to help rectify this behaviour.
For instance, you are having a meal with your kid and your parents. When the first dish is served, do you pick up your chopsticks and serve some for your kid first? Or do you serve your parents first?
Kids nowadays start to learn and observe from a young age. Their characters are shaped based on the environment they grow up in. If you make an effort to show them how you respect your own parents (elders) by a simple gesture of serving them the food first at dinner, your kid will likely follow suit as he grows older. He will cultivate the habit to do the same to you. As a kid, he learns the value of giving and sharing. Kindness (善道 ) and respecting the older folks (敬老尊贤) are two important virtues in Chinese culture.
Some kids get upset more often or more easily than some other kids. Their temper might be so strong that the feeling gets out of control and causes them to act in ways that are intolerable and upsetting. Some kids might get so angry that they scream at their parents, punch the toys, slam on the table, break something, or perhaps hit their own sibling! Candidly, kids are allowed to express their feelings, even angry ones, but it’s not alright for a kid to do any of those things too often.
Here are some steps to take (especially when the kid is not throwing a tantrum or not feeling angry/upset):
- Increase physical activity. Let your kid play outside. Do the sports he enjoys. Activity that gets his heart pumping will do him good because that is a way of burning off his energy and stress. I’m sure he feels good kicking the soccer ball or shooting some basketball with his friends.
- Talk to your kid. Have a regular one-on-one session with your kid before she sleeps. She is likely in a calm mood whereby you can ask her how she feels and get her to feel the emotions from others. Talk about angry outburst if she was upset earlier in the day. Tell her your feelings and how others feel when she had that outburst. Share with her how she could do a better job of controlling herself.
- Put feelings into words. Ask your kid to share his feelings with you when he feels angry the next time round. This habit will get him to be more expressive on his own will before a volcano erupts. Also helps to create the closeness as he is more inclined to express his feelings to you as he grows up.
What do you do when your kid is throwing tantrum or in explosion mode?
Try some of these steps:
- Put her in a timeout. If she is not listening or starts hitting you because she is upset, pull her into an empty room and enforce a timeout. Don’t start consoling her when both of you are inside the room. Give her a chance to calm down. She needs time to let go of her frustrations (probably after crying or shouting loudly for at least 15mins). Once you see that your kid has calm down, then you start getting her to think through her actions.
- Be firm with your rules and punishment. If you kid knows that you are not likely going to punish him, he would probably continue with his screaming or throwing things. This is an important understanding between parents. The kid has to know no one can protect him from punishment if he makes a scene or misbehave.
- Make sure your kid is well rested and fed before you go out so he doesn’t blow up at the slightest provocation.
Distract. A young kid’s attention is momentary and easy to divert. When your kid’s face starts to crinkle and redden, offer to bring him out for a walk to the park or read him a book before it can escalate into a full-blown tantrum. Humor is one good way to distract. Tell a joke, make a funny face, do something to get your kid’s mind off what’s upsetting him.
Featured image source: sg.theasianparent