I thought this article from Parent’s Magazine was beneficial, well need helpful tips and suggestions when we are trying to raise good little ones! 🙂
How to Steer Clear of Trouble
Even the most angelic baby can act a little devilish sometimes — pulling your hair, throwing her Cheerios all over the floor, or trying to stuff her waffle into the DVD player. While all that impish behavior may be annoying, keep in mind that your little rascal is just doing her job: learning all about the world around her. “At around 6 months to 1 year, babies are naturally explorers,” says Robin Goldstein, Ph.D., professor of child development at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, and author of The New Baby Answer Book. “They’re using all of their senses to get to know their environment, and that means they may try to touch, taste, or happily tear apart everything that’s in sight.”
Trying to instill rules or dole out punishments won’t do any good at this age; your baby lacks the developmental ability and understanding of language to know right from wrong. But that doesn’t mean you have to let her destroy your living room (or your new iPhone). With loving guidance you can steer her away from trouble while keeping your house and sanity intact.
If you catch your baby ripping the page of a library book, you may be tempted to let out a yelp. “But screaming will just confuse and scare him,” says Dr. Goldstein. Instead, give him a more appropriate toy to manhandle as you remove the book. Or you can take your baby in your arms, play his favorite song, and dance around the room together.I’m not sure I’ll ever get a handle on this one……I’m a yeller, I don’t know why, it always worked for me as a kid, if my parents ever raised their voices it was because they meant business and they didn’t do it often because we knew better….it’s just a natural reaction for me and I know my hubby hates it LOL!
Divert Her AttentionBabies are easily distracted, so when you see your little one crawling toward the TV remote, simply scoop her up and show her something equally interesting: a colorful toy, a plush puzzle, a plastic bowl and wooden spoon, or even a crumpled brown paper bag, suggests Dr. Goldstein. Be sure to cuddle her and chat while you’re redirecting her attention. “Hold her close and say in an upbeat way, ‘Let’s go see what fun things we can dig up in the Tupperware drawer!’ “We are big beleivers in this one, my sister is fabulous at this one!! LOL…so is my husband, I still need a little work 🙂
Learn to Interpret His ActionsSometimes a baby’s feisty behavior can be a clue to what he’s feeling, especially when he’s tired and ready for a nap or has had enough at mealtime. If your baby scatters peas on the floor, for example, it could be because he’s doing a Galileo experiment to see what happens when objects are dropped from a height; but it could also be his way of saying that he’s not hungry anymore. Take away the food and give him something a little less messy to drop, like a washcloth or an empty cup, suggests Barbara Polland, Ph.D., a child psychologist and author of We Can Work It Out: Conflict Resolution for Children. You can always try to feed him again a little bit later.I’m getting better at this, I’m pretty good at knowing when my daugther is tired and needs to go in for a nap, whether it’s nap time or not I’m pretty good at that, however I’m no good at figuring out anything else LOL…she stands by her snack cabinet looking for a snack every other second and it drives me nuts because she eats to just eat for crying out loud, she is so my husband……a snacker!! My husband gives in, I don’t. For example, yesterday my daugther was sitting on his lap on the couch pointing to the pair of headphones on top of the couch, she was screaming for them, after a few minutes my husband went to give them to her!!!! Thank god I was their, I said “You better not even think about giving those to her!!” He knew he had done wrong, he said “But I hate seeing her cry” I said oh well get used to it because if you keep giving her everything she wants your are going to REGRET IT!!!!
Use Your “No’s” WiselyEven though your baby might not understand words, he definitely picks up on your tone of voice, and a sharp, loud “No!” can be a powerful tool, says Dr. Polland. But if you use “No!” every time he does something annoying, the word will lose its efficacy. “Save it for times when your baby is actually in danger of hurting himself, such as when he’s near a hot stove or during his attempts to climb furniture,” says Dr. Polland. Then quickly pick your baby up and remove him from the situation, and put on your most serious frown. “Babies are very focused on facial expressions; it?s how they first learn to read people,” says Dr. Polland. But don’t expect him to remember your safety lesson next time — you still need to keep a constant eye on him.I probably need to work on this one a bit because I feel like every other word out of my mouth is no, I use no when she goes to touch anything she isn’t supposed to, to an electrical outlet, our DVD player or our printer. Honestly thought, it’s working, most of the time she backs away and moves onto other things when I say “No” I do use the same tone and I do give her a look, I’m sure that helps lol!! Though I do get the occasional look back and a devilish giggle every now and again!!
Take a Break
Of course, no matter how often you say to yourself, “She’s just a baby!” there are times when her mischief-making can drive you nuts. The important thing is to catch yourself before you get so frustrated that you take it out on your baby. (An estimated 1,200 to 1,400 children are injured or killed by shaking every year in the United States.) Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and sit quietly until you’ve calmed down. Then call a friend to come watch her for half an hour while you go for a walk or soak in the tub — or if no one’s available, put the baby in her crib
with a few toys while you take a ten-minute breather.When your baby is a little older and in mid-meltdown, you can say, “Let’s take a time-in. I’m going to hold you, and we’ll breathe and relax for a minute until we both feel better,” Dr. Polland suggests. Since she’s seen Mommy doing it, she’ll know it’s not punishment but a healthy and productive way to deal with frustration and stress.
I’ve done both of these suggestions and I think they really help. I’ve done more of the, put your baby in a safe place and walk away to take a breather, even when my daugther cried, I would lay her in the crib or put her in the swing and step out onto my porch for a few deep breaths, it really did help me. When she has meltdowns (over the most stupidist things) I tend to ignore her and stay calm, like when I can’t cook breakfast fast enough, I just say “It’s almost ready Maddie, couple more minutes” and I just go about making it. I like the idea of picking her up and sitting down with her and taking deep breaths together, if it’s one thing I’ve noticed it’s kids strive off of your feelings and vibes….and lord knows this momma gets her panties in a bunch when my patience are shot, and she knows it!!
Model Good BehaviorActions speak much louder than words, especially if your baby is too young to comprehend what you’re telling her. “Instead of constantly saying ‘Don’t do that,’ demonstrate to your baby what she can do,” advises Jane Nelsen, Ed.D., author of Positive Discipline: The First Three Years. “For example, if she’s pulling the dog’s tail, take her hand and stroke the dog gently with it, and say, ‘Here’s how we play nicely with Max.’ ”
We do this with Maddie, when she dives for the cat we gently pat that cat and say “Nice Kitty” “Nice Kitty”. (We are still hoping some day she will get this LOL…though I doubt it because I remember torturing my cat growing up!) The new this she is doing is testing her limit with hitting, not hard but in the face, I keep saying “Nooo gentle” and I take her hand and gently rub my face…….she’s not getting it!! But I won’t give up!Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Parents magazine.