I was hanging out with some friends not too long ago, and their kiddo was having a tough time. Her behavior was deteriorating, she was having a temper tantrum, and she couldn’t be redirected. Her parents were getting frustrated with their child, and they were starting to lose their cool as well. It wasn’t a great situation.
Off Their Schedule
In times like these, I try to be curious and understand what was happening. Why was the kid having such a tough time? Sure, all kids have a meltdown sometimes, but was there anything different happening in this situation? After talking to the parents a bit, I found out that the family had been off their regular schedule for the last few days. They had been traveling and visiting family, so they hadn’t been sticking to their normal bedtime and nap schedule. I could see a clear connection between the schedule changes and how the child was doing.
Kids (like all of us) have limitations. If they don’t keep a regular schedule of sleep and nutrition, it’s hard to emotionally regulate. That’s why it’s critical to set up consistent structures with children and stick to it. If you don’t keep your kids on a regular schedule and they aren’t getting enough sleep and food, it’s almost impossible for them to have a good attitude and behave well.
Position to Succeed
If you want your kids to do well and behave, put them in a good position to succeed. Make sure they get enough sleep each night. Set up a schedule where they have the opportunity to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make sure they are getting enough to eat and drink at regular intervals. Remember: consistent schedule = consistent behavior.
Check in With Yourself
There is a lesson here for our own lives as well. Sometimes we have trouble regulating our thoughts and emotions, but don’t know why. When this happens, check in with yourself. Have you been getting enough sleep lately? Have you been eating enough nutritious food and drinking enough water? Put yourself in the best possible position to succeed.