Does it sound familiar?
If you want to teach your child how to be calmer or even to keep quiet, this article will be of help. Even if all this is part of childhood and is considered normal – since you’ve done the same as a child – for adults it’s just another source of stress.
Especially for parents who work shifts or who wake up very early in the morning and are usually tired and impatient in the evenings.
When you occasionally go to a restaurant with your husband and child, is he noisy, does he run around the place, hit the tableware to the plates or not stop screaming?
What about the library, where everybody reads in complete silence? Have you taken your child there, only to attract all attention in the first five minutes because he suddenly started screaming?
Or maybe in your car. Driving with your child in the back, in his car seat, can sometimes feel like a challenge. Especially if we’re talking about a small, bored or restless child.
Even at home, after a day at the office, followed by traffic and maybe some shopping, the last thing you want is a fretting, noisy child. Yes, he’s yours and you love him like crazy. You’re glad that he’s healthy and playful.
Maybe you were equally bustling when you were young and you couldn’t understand it either when your parents asked for some peace and quiet. Now you’re just like them. And in these moment you feel the need to raise your voice in order to be heard. But this only makes you even louder than the child.
Can you imagine how your husband must be feeling, who is just as tired as you are?
Learn how to keep the noise level in your house under control, without competing with your child in a screaming contest.
Whisper! When you feel like screaming at your child to stop it, try whispering instead. The fact that you’re speaking so softly will make the child curious. He’ll think you have a secret, or something he’s not supposed to find out about. You’ll hit the jackpot with this strategy, because all kids are curious and are interested in finding out things that they’re not supposed to know. Therefore, if you whisper, there’s a better chance of getting his attention than if you scream all the same.
Walk on your tiptoes. When your child runs around the house or jumps, you just start tiptoeing. He’ll think it’s a new game and he’ll imitate you.
Anticipate and be prepared. When you go to a restaurant or a library, bring a snack or a new toy with you. Most of the time this behaviour is caused by boredom and the lack of something to do, and is not meant to make you mad. Always carry a few tasty snacks in your purse or in his backpack. Apple slices, carrot strips. A small, quiet game, a book, a puzzle or a memory game.
Offer him a time and a place to scream. With all of the methods we’ve shown you already you can stop the noise for a while. But a child is still a child and he needs to let it out. So, instead of permanently controlling his noise levels, give him a time and space where he’s not under such strict control. A child has a lot of energy, so a playground is ideal for the freedom he needs to let it out.
Set and keep a calming routine before sleep. Just before bedtime, you need to set a few rules that stop any sort of noisy or exciting activity. A few good choices could be a bath with his favourite toys, half an hour of storytelling, or some singing. Or anything else that’s supposed to be peaceful and quiet.
But don’t forget – he’s only a child and so where you! No matter how much advice we offer, noise is a part of childhood. No set of suggestions and recommendations will turn your child into a mini-adult. But you can control certain situations, enough to be able to go out to a restaurant, to look for a book in a library, to drive peacefully, to enjoy going out, just you and the child, wherever you want.