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When your kid screams at you, what to you do? Do you automatically scream back “Stop shouting!’? I caught myself doing that and it wasn’t helping, Eric would keep on screaming louder and louder.

When your kid slaps your face, what do you do? It’s really tempting to slap right back, isn’t it? Just to show him what it feels like, so he learns that doesn’t feel nice. OK, let’s get this straight – it’s wrong and won’t teach him anything except that hitting is acceptable.

When you repeat for the 10th time: “Move away from the dishwasher, leave the dog alone and stop feeding him your food’ – and he is still throwing the dishes on the floor and hands the dog his sandwich, what do you do? Do you start a fight or turn a blind eye?

Those were my dilemmas and here are the solutions. They take time and require patience, but they work.

When he screams – I lower my voice and whisper calmly: “Why are you shouting? I can hear you just fine if you speak quietly’. After a few sentences I’ve whispered he lowers the voice and still shouts, but it’s not as loud. We continue this until he gets to the normal voice, mimicking me and my whispering.

When he slaps me, I remind myself that he doesn’t mean to slap. His hands’ control is too weak yet, that’s all – it helps me to control my anger. Then take his hand and say: “You don’t slap, you stroke, gently…’ and show him how to stroke my face. He likes the way it feels and tries to do it himself, pressing his hand against my face. I did it every time he slapped and after a few times, when I caught his hand just before it landed on my cheek, he laughed and stroked me.

I was very creative solving the dog and dishwasher problem. I make the dog go outside first and then feed Eric his dinner – so the temptation to share food isn’t there any more. And after the main meal is finished, I give Eric some finger food – crackers, pieces of tomato, cucumbers or avocado and unload the dishwasher while he is feeding himself and watching me.

Do you have similar problems or issues? Did you solve them, and how? I’d like to hear from you, let me know.