In the past twelve months, I’ve thrown my fair share of tantrums. It’s safe to say the kids have acted out more than normal too. Underneath it all, we understand this is quite a hard time in our children’s short lives.
As adults, we are finding it difficult, so it stands to reason our kids will too. From missing their friends and family, to being bored with excess energy to release without the ordinary bounds of childhood; our kids are battling intense emotions with not as much understanding as we may have.
They are likely to act out when they are feeling low, bored, tired, or angry. Our current situation does not alleviate any of this for us, so how do we manage bad behaviour during a lockdown? In many ways, pre-empting an outburst is the best management.
Have Rules And Maintain A Routine
We may think our kids will act out against rules and battle routine, but really, they thrive on it. When there are house-rules and a recognisable routine, our kids know what to expect and what is expected of them. It takes away the pressure of knowing what is acceptable and guides them in knowing what’s coming next in a day (which often feels like Groundhog Day).
Communicate And Connect
Every so often, we are all a bottle of coke with mentos being dropped into the bottle. Those erupting emotions can drop in on us at any time and often we have no idea where they came from. When we chat with our kids and encourage them to talk and share with us, we help them to understand their own emotions. We can learn just a little of what is going on in their heads too. When we understand our kids and show them we understand and validate their feelings, we can help avoid those mini mentos eruptions.
Have A Little Patience
As I say, we can all be a little hot-headed considering the tension of the current situation. But when we stay calm, have patience, and react with kindness, we can diffuse the situation quicker. If we tackle bad behaviour with shouting and anger, we throw fuel on the fire. Be firm but steady, take a breath, and avoid over-reacting as much as we may be within our rights to!
While it may not always be a time to look on the bright side of life, our children look to us for guidance. Encouraging our kids to break out of a cycle of negativity will have a positive reaction on their behaviour and calm their minds. And ours.