One of the best things ever is to watch your children grow each day. From watching your children utter their first words to watching them graduate, it will always be overwhelming. The first few years are crucial for parents as well as their children. When your children are aged between 2-5, they can keep you on your toes, quite literally.
When your toddlers grow up to become tiny tots and join kindergarten, they are exposed to a different environment with new people and a different style of living. It is natural for them to develop different behaviour and body language. However, as parents, it may seem a little difficult for you to adapt to their sudden and unpredictable behavioural changes.
You may witness your children becoming cranky for the first time. They may also blurt out demeaning adjectives that may not be pleasing for you to hear. Some of your children may become bullies, while others may be the ones getting bullied. Some may have trouble making friends, while others may have difficulty following up on what is being taught in school.
Problems faced by parents of preschoolers is a vast discussion. In this article, we discuss the solutions to some of the common problems faced by parents of preschoolers.
When your children show a pinch of aggression, you must understand that it is due to their lack of understanding of situations. They cannot logically comprehend situations because they are still kids. Right?
Another reason for aggressive behaviour is parents themselves. We live in a fast-progressing world. Everything is fast and also available within a single click. We are accustomed to having everything we want within seconds. When that does not happen, frustration accumulates. The same is with children. When children do not obey, as parents or teachers, we become aggressive with them. It is where they get their aggressive nature from. Because no matter how much you teach your children, in the end, they learn a lot more by observing their surroundings.
Here are some pointers to help parents deal with the aggressive behaviour of their kids:
- Be patient.
- Stay calm and do not react immediately.
- When your kids refuse to budge, explain to them why they are wrong, calmly and gently.
- If your kids love cartoons, make sure they are not exposed to any violence.
How to teach your preschooler to be patient?
When your children learn the art of patience, they automatically become less violent and show very little to no aggression. Nobody is naturally inclined to be empathetic or patient. Each individual either learns it or does not. It all depends on your parenting skills and the environment that you put your children in. The era today is completely fast-paced. We need not wait for anything. Naturally, children too are inclined towards having all their needs arriving within minutes.
However, there come situations where children require patience. For example, standing in queues or waiting for their turn while playing in a group requires a great deal of patience. Hence, children must be taught how to be patient. Here are a few games that can help you teach the art of patience to your tiny tots.
a) Gift unwrap
Wrap your children’s favourite toy using several gift wrappers. Make sure you have sufficient layers so that they take a reasonable amount of time while unwrapping. You can repeat this activity once every few days. They will learn to wait while unwrapping their toy, but in a fun way, without realising it.
b) Supermarket shopping
Every time you run down to the store to pick up essentials, take your kids along with you. They will enjoy shopping, and also learn to wait patiently in queues.
c) Lemon and spoon race
If your children are part of playgroups in your neighbourhood, you can take in-charge and conduct games like lemon and spoon. Hand out one lemon and one spoon to each child and ask them to balance the lemon on the spoon until the finish point. They cannot drop the lemon until the end.
The game may sound simple, but it demands a great deal of patience. Children also improve their balancing skills and hand and eye coordination.
Lying through their teeth
At some point during your parenthood, you will witness your children lying. Children lie due to many reasons. Sometimes, they do not recall the sequence of events that have occurred. They may blame their sibling for starting a fight, whereas, in reality, they would have started it. But it is not their fault because their memory does not support sequence mapping.
The second reason is a false memory. Sometimes children are unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. They may think that their fantasy world is the real world and vice versa, leading to misprocessing event occurrences. Naturally, when they are lying, they are talking about an incident that happened in their fantasy world.
Lastly, children may lie to please you. They are timid and afraid of being in your bad books. If you are someone who punishes their child, such behaviour can raise kids who lie to get away with the situation.
Here are some tips to help you deal with a preschooler who has developed a habit of lying:
- Enjoy the tales that your children weave rather than scolding them.
- Read the stories on honesty and tell them why it is not good to lie.
- Be their friend. When you are more of a friend and less of a parent, your children will stop being afraid of you. They will eventually stop lying.
- Understand that no child is perfect. Do not over expect things from your child. It will lead to frustration and disappointment.
- When you sense that your children are lying to you, do not pounce upon them. Instead, ask them questions and get them to confess their lies to you. They will confess if and only if they are comfortable with you, and when they do, you know that you are no more a parent but also your child’s friend.
Strategies to teach honesty to your children
Here are a few tried and tested strategies that you can adapt daily to help your children understand the importance and need for being honest.
- Be their role model.
Since children learn things by observing, you have to ensure that you implement everything you preach. They are kids. Hence, they do not have the capability of deciding right and wrong. They learn all the things they are exposed to. So when you want them to be honest, make sure you are honest with them.
- Live up to your words.
When you promise your children something, make it your aim to fulfil it, no matter what. Let it be the smallest of things, but do not break your promise. Breaking your promises will disappoint your kids and teach them that it is okay to not live up to the words you commit to.
- Give them rewards and brownie points!
Every time your children tell the truth, praise them and recognise their efforts by giving them their favourite snack or take them out to play. Do not frequently reward them with food or extra playtime, do it occasionally.
Snapping back at you
Growing children sometimes back talk, and boy, that can hurt. Such situations occur because your children do not like being told how to lead their life. They like taking control of their lives. Well, who doesn’t? If you want to tackle such situations, you need to be patient. Get to the root cause of them back talking to you. Gently make them understand your point of view. Here are a few tactics to take control of such situations:
- Do not vent out on your children. You can get busy with work. Every other 9-5 job does build up frustration.
- Spend time with your children. It helps you create a bond, and the stronger the bond, the better it is.
- Engage your children in activities such as baking and mopping. Plan a day out on your days off from work. The idea is to spend time with them and get to know them better.
- Never yell “NO” when your child demands something. Instead, give them an explanation as to why their demands cannot be met.
- Avoid instructing them too much.
- Do not be bossy.
How to spend time with your children despite a busy schedule?
We understand that working parents can have a tough time when it comes to balancing work and children. Keeping them in mind, here are a few ways to help you spend time with your children without disturbing your work routine.
- Follow the magic mantra of 5
Several studies have shown that spending 5 minutes a day with your children on all days of the week significantly improves the parent-child bond. Give them 5 minutes of undivided attention. Listen to them with complete focus and interact with them.
- Quality of time spent matters
If you decide on giving 5 minutes to your children but do not listen to them or interact with them during those few minutes, then it is as good as not spending time with them. Remember, children learn things by observing. If you give them their share of undivided attention, they will observe how focused you are towards them. They will incorporate the same.
- Offer them weekly or monthly favourites
Schedule a vacation or one-day trips with your child. It will help you relax, and you will also be able to spend time with your children.
Disturbed toilet routine, sleep cycle and food habits
When your tiny tots first start going to preschool, they will find it difficult to adjust to the sudden change of routine. Some children may give their parents a much more challenging time than the others because each child’s understanding and adjusting capabilities are different.
There is a 180-degree change in the routines because all of a sudden, children are asked to do their daily chores at different timings. Initially, you will notice that they may not pass stools or even feel hungry when they join preschool. Your children may not even wake up on time or they will create a lot of fuss if you try to get them to go to school. But it is an automatic process. Their body and mind clocks will automatically adapt to the new schedule, thereby putting an end to their unnecessary tantrums.
Another worry for today’s parents is the exposure of their kids to fast food. A few years ago, fast food was a luxury, once in a while treat. Today, fast food has become a part of the routine. Handing in packed and processed food to your children may seem a more accessible option if you are a working parent. However, avoid doing it frequently.
How to keep your children’s eating habits in check?
Here are strategies that you can use to ensure your children are eating healthy!
- Eat at least one meal a day together. It is an excellent opportunity to let your kids know that you are eating what you ask them to eat. They will complain less.
- Take your children out to their favourite restaurants once in two weeks.
- Try setting up a food routine wherein you treat your children with homemade delicacies.
- Set up an exercise regime.
How to potty train your children?
There is no answer to ‘When to start potty training your child?’ because you have to observe and look for hints from your children that indicate readiness. Once you begin noticing these hints, introduce your children to the potty or toilet. But let them choose which one to continue with.
Educate your children on some potty-related words such as ‘pee-pee’ and ‘poo’ so that they can address their potty requirements when in need. Another good practice is to encourage your children to relieve themselves. You can do so occasionally, like before stepping out or before going to bed.
The final words
Problems faced by parents of preschoolers is a long list because parenting is an intimidating process. You may go wrong, and that is inevitable and also okay. Most importantly, it would be best if you had lots of patience while interacting with your toddlers daily. Remember that your parenting methods will largely determine the kind of adolescents your children will turn into.
The world today is becoming a close-knit community that promotes sharing, caring and awareness of situations. Look upon the internet for programs that aid in teaching good parenting methods. Often, such programs have people who themselves have faced your situation. So most likely, they have tried and tested methods of parenting.