Handbook for parents to overcome whims and vices in 7 days

Who I am
Marie-Ange Demory
Author and references
Source: alamy.com

A scene in the supermarket, complete with screams and tears in plain sight. Tantrums at the restaurant or at the doctor, at the check-up of the little brother. Not only that, the child never seems happy even if he "has everything" and seems to take everything for granted in a bored way.

When the situation seems to have gotten out of hand, when the whims are getting out of control, here is a concrete and simple method thatteaches to create the conditions for their children to mature internally and discover their talents and strengthen the ability to adapt.

This is explained by Richard Bromfield, a psychotherapist who has worked with children and families for thirty years. In the book Fila in your room! Quick guide to overcoming vices and whims, published by Giunti, explains to parents how to emerge from whims in just seven days and how to reassert yourself in the role of parents. After seven days there will still be work to be done and there will be more progress to be made. However, you will be more confident of yourself.

Which age group is it aimed at? Bromfield never specifies age ranges in his book. It really depends. It is a manual aimed at everyone. Toddlers usually learn best when working over a limited amount of time (hours, a day) while school-aged children need consequences that last longer.

1 - Get involved and analyze the situation

The first step in the process is to understand that there is something wrong and therefore getting involved. At home, the child holds his breath until he is suffocated and until he gets what he wants? Does he scream like a madman at the mall? Does he often throw tantrums in public? He always seems unhappy and asks more and more and you find it hard to make you obey? If you have to live with these situations, your child may be spoiled. You know this, but you don't know how to stem the problem. But one thing is certain: the fact that you don't know how to deal with the situation isn't due to a lack of love or attention. And no matter how tired you are, don't worry about living under a dictatorship but think about its future.

Know one thing: the child needs love, but also discipline. To face life and to learn to be humble and patient, but also to be able to face failure. Without gentle but firm guidance from a parent, he or she risks becoming an immature, selfish and always discontented adult.

"A child who constantly harasses his parents is still looking for the boundaries he needs to grow up," explains the psychotherapist.

His behavior therefore serves to test you. And you are about to give him the limits he needs.

2 - Teaching gratitude

Think about when you were little. Did you spend your time begging your parents to buy something? No, because it was useless. The little he had was more appreciated and advertising was not as pervasive as it is now. Not having everything and immediately learned self-control, patience with waiting, generosity with giving and sharing.

Children learn gratitude when they don't get used to getting everything they want. It is also important to recover authority. Authoritative parents have clear expectations and set few but firm limits. They do not deprive their children of other equally important elements, such as love, respect, etc.

3 - Capture attention with actions, not words

Starting from these premises we start with the "real shock therapy". Raising one's voice or threatening is sometimes no longer needed? Bear in mind that giving too many warnings is not only unnecessary, but may lead the child to listen to you less. As Bromfield explains, "your children need no more warnings. [...] Your actions - not your words - will speak and do the bulk of the work. "

Now choose a grand, unexpected, striking and ... successful gesture to go to hit a wrong behavior of the child. Every time he comes home from school he wants to go to the toy store and after getting what he wanted he screams again not to go to the pediatrician? Do a U-turn and head straight back to the shop to return the game you just bought. Without warnings or threats. Above all without giving in. Telling the shopkeeper to give it back because the baby was rude.

Another example: he likes pizza, but in a pizzeria he plays the hell out of four and often throws a tantrum in public? Tell him that next Friday you will go to his favorite pizzeria, and if, while you are driving to go there, he starts to misbehave, turn around without saying anything and go home. If he's having a tantrum while he's waiting for the pizza, the same: get up and go home with him. It is forbidden to take pizza home.

Don't want to brush your teeth? Ask him just once to do this, before going to bed. If he doesn't, over the next few days, stick to any kind of dessert, telling him he'll have to give up until he washes them.

Don't be afraid that your steadfastness will harm your child. It is not so

Why is such an important gesture necessary to capture attention? To ensure that the child notices the change. And we don't have to talk about it first in order not to re-propose the old strategy that no longer worked.

Making such a gesture is difficult. Prepare well and plan it. And confront your child with a consequence that is meaningful to him. If you can't do it the first time, don't worry, you will try again the next day.

4 - Do not surrender to whims: learn to accept and understand them

Many children oppose their parents who deprive them of something. Don't be afraid and don't give up. Whims, however, are an integral part of any healthy childhood. It doesn't mean that you are a bad parent. See them as something important to your child, because they give him a chance to vent his anger. So do not criticize them, rather, commit yourself to accept and understand them. Support him in his distress. Do not make his anger your own, but let him understand that you have noticed his discomfort and that you care about him. And if the whim passes the point of no return, don't try to stop it by making the child think. Only when he has calmed down, be kind and ready to understand his reactions.

Ok, now don't give up, you're well under way. Don't go back to the toy shop to return the game you brought back. So what to do? Another great gesture within a couple of days. "The frequency of tantrums should decrease as you go astray. Beware it may escalate for a short time," but don't be afraid, you are doing the right thing.


“Terrible two”: a small manual for parents to survive the whims

go to the gallery

What is the “Terrible Two” and what can parents do when their baby goes through this stage? We asked Sara Luna, psychologist-psychotherapist and ...

5 - Set firm points: limits

As Bromfield explains, "the parents seem to walk on eggs, talk and argue all the time, under the illusion that they are in charge". To re-establish a form of authoritative parenting is necessary firmly draw a line that your child shouldn't just cross. Of the "fixed points". They both know that they are not to be overcome.

The child who knows that his parents have set solid points for him will not even think of challenging them to see how far he can go. So the: "Here, you've played the party. You're not going", really means that his behavior has led to this consequence. What matters to him is that the parents reinforce their words with facts and that they do not retrace their steps.

The parent must show himself steadfast over time, on every occasion, until the child no longer doubts his belief.

Limits show children that they are not individuals, but that they live in a world of people. And they have to learn where their limit ends and the space of others begins. Children need to grow up within these reasonable boundaries without feeling less loved or rejected.

This operation is most effective if it begins in the first years of the child's life. But don't be discouraged if your child is already an older one: the work will be harder, but you will get a result all the same.

6 - Dedicate quality time to your children

Parents today have less time than they once did. If the little one behaves badly to attract your attention (are you always with your head in the clouds when you are with him or inattentive? Maybe tired and worried?) The solution is not only to implement what has been written up to now, but also Of make sure you dedicate quality time and space to your child.

7 - And now? Don't give in and be a "benevolent dictator"

You have upset your habits, avoided giving in to whims, set limits. And now? Keep it up. You are doing great. And be careful not to always argue everything. What to do when your baby challenges you? Don't stick to his rules. Don't explain and don't explain. Don't justify your choices. Be clear and specific, the teachers are very good at this. Think about when they say in the classroom: "Take the book and open it to page 10". Imagine if they said, "Honey, would you mind taking the book and opening it on page 10?" Would children respect them? When a teacher talks, the children know exactly what they need to do.

In practice, we need to be more aware of the role of parents and above all of how to relate to their children.

Sometimes parents need to be benevolent dictators who know what is right for their child.

Ok to involve him in decisions in line with his age and condition. But distinguishing between needs and fantasies. Food and water are physical needs, but the red car seen in the shop is not. You can freely express your opinion, the child will always be heard, but you do not have the privilege of voting or vetoing.

Giving your child the ability to have age-appropriate power is a good way to be responsible, but empowering him to make adult decisions is not. It is too great a responsibility.

8 - Buy less

The time has come to downsize. Your child has so many toys that he doesn't even remember having some of them. But does he really need it that much? Weighted down with all the gifts they receive, children tend to forget about simple things, like playing alone and with others, running outdoors and much more.

Remember that: "Giving too much to children, today and tomorrow, can deprive them of more precious and meaningful gifts, such as patience, the ability to be content and other qualities that will help them build a rich and satisfying existence". (Read also: education, the seven fundamental skills to become self-controlled parents)

9 - Work on self-esteem and autonomy

How to build healthy self-esteem in your children? What gives the child self-esteem is having a strong sense of competence, that is, the ability to face and overcome challenges. We are not talking about huge challenges, but related to everyday life and to your age: learning to walk, learning to put on socks by yourself ...

Make sure that your child reclaims his autonomy and constructively exploit his desire to help you with the little things: in the kitchen, vacuuming, setting the table.


10 housework that children can do

go to the gallery

Children must learn to share house cleaning. You start with the simplest things and gradually you learn how to do the most complex jobs. In addition to helping to make them ...

10 - Hold on even in public

Now, the hardest part: how to behave when the tantrums arrive blatantly in public and become a tragic spectacle? Public situations can be really tough. So here's what parents usually do in these cases:

  1. they try to prevent them, When possible. If he goes crazy when he goes to the supermarket, they don't bring it
  2. they try to yield just enough to stop the whim, take the child off the floor and move him away from the shop, transferring the theater to your home.

The trick according to the psychologist is to start limiting the outings if the child is having a lot of tantrums. It does not take much. Tell your child that they don't go to the shops or the park until they behave better. But that you hope that things will improve soon and that you are willing to help him.

Next step: organize a pleasant but short public outing. Tell him what you are about to do: "We're about to go to the pharmacy. Maybe you'll be bored, would you like to bring a book?" and once in line, waiting, involve him: "It's hard to wait, isn't it?". When you leave the shop, tell him that you have noticed his effort. But be careful not to praise or reward the result. At home, thank you for the result.

Then step by step, go ahead with the small fast outings: better many short ones than 6 hours of errands in a row.

11 - Learn to apologize and thank you

Making a child apologize seems easy or very difficult at times: how many times is it said "sorry" in an empty way?

The best way to develop a sincere ability to apologize in your child is to observe and listen to his sincere repentance when he is little. If he drops a glass of milk and he wants to clean up, let him do it, even if he will be clumsy. Has he stained the newspaper with ketchup and offers to fix the damage done? Indulge him. Acknowledge his desire to remedy and thank him. Gestures are worth a lot, even more than words. There is no magic recipe, but welcoming gestures of gratitude and apology with respect will help increase the children's confidence in their ability to face life.

12 - Finally: mislead yourselves, but also learn to dedicate yourselves to yourself

Easy to tell your child that he cannot have the red toy car. But what if you are the first to give in easily to your desires and whims? We are not implying that one must become an ascetic, but neither are we pampering ourselves too much. Parents should be aware of their own behavior and be consistent with their choices.

Also, learn to carve out your own spaces too. Parents deserve to have private moments and places that exclude the presence of their child. For example, what can you teach your children about relationships and adulthood if you spend all your time with them, excluding your partner? Remember that you are a couple as well as being a parent. And that you deserve to cultivate your interests and passions. Your grown-up child will thank you for it.

Updated on 27.06.2022

  • moods
  • Vizi
  • whims manual
  • spoil
  • 3-5 children years
add a comment of Handbook for parents to overcome whims and vices in 7 days
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.