Give Yourself Time Part #2 (Parents)

Guide to a Joyful Home

Tip of the Day:

Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, frustrated, and extremely busy doing three things at once, that’s when your young child thinks he needs your attention the most.  Therefore, it might be helpful to develop signals with your child to let him know that unless it’s an emergency mommy/daddy needs a little time to finish what she/he is doing in order to focus on him.  A quick, physical signal; such as, gently rubbing his or your ear, will work best.  Refrain from using a voice command or signal, because on purpose or not our voice can reflect our frustration.  In order for this technique to work you will need to do the following:

  1. Define and discuss what an emergency is.  I usually say, “If you’re going to throw-up, someone is bleeding, or someone’s at the door/ in the house I need to be aware of that’s an emergency”.
  2. Practice using the signal.  Role play situations in order for comfort and familiarity.
  3. Be careful not to over use the signal.  It will loose its effectiveness.  With that being said, if you don’t use it enough he will forget it.  So I would suggest at least once every few days to set the habit for you and your child.  Afterwards, just when needed, but at least once a week.
  4. It’s extremely important that as soon as the stressful situation is handled you remember to see to your child’s need, and let him know mommy/daddy now has time to focus on him.  Developing this wait time technique is beneficial for both you and your child for real world/life skills.
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