When they're naughty make them potty... and other words of wisdom

When they’re naughty make them potty….

Hi there mamas!  I'm Amber, mama to four, ages 7,6,4,and 2.75

I would like to kick this little post off by saying first that I DO NOT have all the answers, I don’t even have some of the answers.  I do, however, have some tricks up my sleeve that might give another mama out there some ideas about surviving some of the toughest parts of mothering little ones, the tantrums, and I am more than willing to share {I hope you will be too at the end of this post!}

#1:: When they are naughty make them potty.  This has been a motto in my house for years.  When my children start acting like fools, sassing me, crying for no reason, screaming at their siblings, all the naughty things, the first place I send them is to the bathroom.  This works a solid 75% of the time, no joke.  Kids just get so wrapped up in their play that they push aside the feeling of needing to use the bathroom, they push it aside for long enough and forget about it, then they begin to feel terribly uncomfortable and cranky and have no idea why.  Try this, seriously, try this the first time and every time you will be shocked.

#2:: Hugs.  Hugs conquer all. The moment you feel the very least like hugging your ornery little spit fire is the moment you should scoop them up and squeeze.  Often I will get giggles and kisses and apologies.  Sometimes I will get tears of relief that they can let their tough guy act go and just be loved on.  And once in a great while this method will backfire on me completely and send a particularly angry older child into a rage.  Here is the side note for that occasion, first make sure you aren’t trying to force an angry child into a hug, you would not appreciate your spouse giving you a bear hug mid fight and your kids don’t love it either.  For us the best thing to do with a child who is really and truly angry and raging is to put them in a safe place and allow them to cool down.  9 times out of 10 my boys come down {from their rooms, the safe place we usually send them} humble and ready to talk after a chance to cool down, then the hugs are the best.

#3:: Let them cry.  If my kids are throwing a temper tantrum over not being able to get something/see something/eat or drink something/watch something {you get the point} I just let them cry, I don’t send them away to cry or leave them, I just sit and occupy myself until they are done. Truthfully it cuts down on the crying time by half, at least.  When they have stopped crying I am happy to talk about why they don’t get everything they want exactly when and how they want it, but usually they just want to move on with their day and so do I.

#4:: Start over.  We use this ALL THE TIME.  Sometimes when the kids start arguing, stop listening, disobeying, tempers can spin out of control quickly. Once the spiral starts, it’s a death spin to the bottom where someone says or does something they immediately regret and there are sad hearts and broken feelings all over the place.  So we start over, we apologize, we speak truth, we love, and we wipe the slate clean.  Grace.  Extended to all, by all, that’s rule number one in our home.

#5:: Put them to bed early.  We try to get headed to bed about 30 minutes before we actually want our kid’s lights to be out.  Then we spend that time reading together, snuggling each other, and listening to sweet small hearts.  My kids open wide inside the comfort of their beds, being snuggled and massaged, they tell their wildest dreams and biggest fears.  My older ones talk about school and kids and the things they are experiencing outside of our home.  It is a little harder to explore the days of the little ones I spent the entire day next to, so for them our favorite game is what do you like better…. We ask, “what do you like better a ____________ or a ___________?” you can take it as deep or as shallow as you want, and the things you learn about each other are priceless.  Some time put in every night will pay you back in kids who feel loved and heard and are less likely to act out during the day.

So there you have it, 5 ways to make your day run just a little smoother, take the edge out of a tantrum, and to bring you closer to the hearts of your little ones.  Do you have any suggestions you would add to this list?? How do you navigate the world of tantrums in your home? Really I would LOVE to read about it in the comments, let’s help each other out.


Amber is a mama to 4 and you can connect with her via twitter or Instagram @ambervnewberry   

Amber is also the founder of Reveal Ministry and Beautiful & Beloved where she tells stories of redemption and fights slavery.

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