Hello everyone! I am very excited for this blog post today and to introduce all our readers to this amazing woman, Nancy Finazzo. My sister Katie and I are so lucky to have our children, Luke and Charlee, in her Pre-Kindergarden class at a Montessori school in our neighborhood. Nancy Finazzo has been teaching Montessori Pre-K for 31 years, has an A.S in Early Childhood Ed., a B.A.E. in Elementary Ed., a M.S. in Profession Studies of Human Relations, as well as American Montessori Society Pre-Primary Certified. In addition to teaching our children, she conducts parenting education classes for all the families of her students (along with some advice seeking attendees) and has truly helped us to teach and guide our kiddos into becoming respectful young well listening children. I will let her words do all the speaking……..
Tackling Tantrums and Misbehavior by Nancy Finazzo:
I have been teaching Montessori PreK for 31 years and am dedicated to helping educate not only the child but the parents as well. I started teaching parent education classes to families of my students 10 years ago, to assist them in learning how to co-exist harmoniously with their children. I believe every parent is trying to do the best they can but raising a child is the most challenging job a person will ever have. It’s imperative to jump in and help these young children develop the skills they will need to become happy, functioning, and productive members of our society. Time is of the essence!
Let’s start with how babies and children learn to communicate and how this can lead to misbehavior, not listening or respecting adults, and tantrums if guidance and teaching is not initiated and consistently utilized early on.
Babies use crying to communicate their needs and when they do, the natural thing to do is to respond to them. You need to meet their needs of course, but during this stage of development, the infant starts to learn how to get your attention, as well as, what they want: food, play, warmth, or comfort. Great, so this goes on for a year or so and they begin to learn how to be in control. Most people find it annoying to listen to children cry, so they quickly do whatever is possible to alleviate the crying.
Now, you have a toddler who is used to getting what they want when they cry, but not everything they want is in their best interest. It’s time for them to learn how to blend in with the family: they are starting to learn a new tool of communication – words.
As the toddler learns to function more independently, they don’t want to give up the power they have over the adults caring for them. They are learning how to speak, yet this too, can be frustrating; it’s not always easy for the adults to understand them. When the toddler doesn’t get what they want is when they quickly revert to crying resulting in tantrums. It is our responsibility to guide and teach them how to effectively communicate with us without using crying and tantrums to do so.
My Top Tips For Parenting:
Effective parenting is often inconvenient but is possible when one is committed to a few basics, such as:
- Well defined limits
Tantrums are frustrating and at times embarrassing, but can become a quick fix to give into our children. If we do not follow through with consistent parenting, consequences and well defined limits, the tantrums will lead to unruly children and young adults. Although I conduct parenting classes for parents of my young students, I have advised many families with older children that are having a very difficult time with behavior. If you put the work, consistency and dedication in early with your younger children, you will have an easier more harmonious time when they are older.
Ask yourself one question — “Is my child running the show?” If you are allowing your child to be in charge, they are hoping someone big will step in and take control. Young children don’t have the capacity to know what is best for them, so an adult must guide them.
My Top Tips For Tantrums
- A CHILD SHOULDN’T GET WHAT THEY WANT WHEN THEY CRY. This should be a constant and consistent phrase you utilize with your child when they are crying for something that they want and cannot or should not have. “You will never get what you want when you are crying.”
- “THE SHOW” IS OVER WHEN THE AUDIENCE LEAVES. (your child is conducting the tantrum for you or whoever is with them. If there is no one listening or engaging with their tantrum they have lost this as a tool to gain what they want)
Once again, these 2 techniques/phrases need to be constantly and consistently used every single time your child has a tantrum. The moment you ease up is the moment they feel this is a tactic to utilize to get their way and are in control. Like I said before, parenting can be inconvenient (the tantrum in the middle of the grocery store) but is necessary to help your child develop effective and respectful communication tools.
I hope this article is helpful. Parenting is difficult but there is no better job in the world. A committed effort and sacrifice in the beginning will set up for a harmonious and happy family in the long run.
I live in Boca Raton, Fl with my husband, Mike, and our miniature poodle, Teddy. My son started attending a Montessori school when he was two years old and I developed a passion for the teaching method. I saw how much the program helped with independence and responsibility, that I decided this was an avenue I would pursue as a teacher. I look forward to going to work each day and love interacting with the children.