Should You Cuddle the “Naughty” Child?

Stress-Busting Tips for Tired, Cranky Parents

When your child asks for a hug after behaving badly, you may feel like you are rewarding his negative attention-seeking behavior! No one wants that! But is it truly a reward? Or should you give in to the request for a cuddle?

This situation can cause many parents to feel conflicting emotions, just like this mama did in her letter to me.

We're going to take a little deep dive into the negative attention-seeking toddlers and preschoolers engage in all-too-often, and I'll give you some strategies for helping your child learn to communicate with you in more positive ways.

As always, I'll throw in some Montessori magic for good measure. The lesson this week is a secret recipe for enticing children toward water pouring work. All you need is a beet.

Come join me as we find the calm and help our children learn and grow.


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Montessori Parenting TiPS

  • Asking for cuddles is an emotional regulation strategy. It’s a good one! Lean in to the cuddles.

  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving positive physical affection to your child regardless of his behavior. Naughty or nice, your child needs cuddles.

  • When a child is behaving badly, trying to get your attention in a negative way, he is hurting. Children who are hurting need comfort.

  • If your child will be attending a brand new school or daycare soon, you might be worried about how he will behave and what emotional regulation strategies are acceptable in this new environment. Here are some great tips for navigating the transition from home to school for the first time.

  • While I don’t think you need to worry (most children develop different strategies for different situations), I do recommend that you inquire about the school’s discipline policy to make sure it is a warm, nurturing one instead of punishment/reward-based.

  • If your child does something to get your attention in a negative way when "others are around and taking your attention away from him" like this mama, you can be proactive and prepare him for this situation before it happens. Pause, give him your absolute attention, and then say, "i am going to let ___have a turn and then it will be your turn again." Reassure him that you love him very, very, very much.

Magical Montessori BEET JUICE

  1. Chop 1 beet into 1/2 inch chunks.

  2. Cover the beets with water and bring to a boil.

  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for several minutes or until they can be easily pierced with a fork.

  4. Cool. Strain beets out. Save the juice.

  5. Freeze the juice in an ice cube maker overnight.

  6. In the morning, remove cubes and store in a baggie in your freezer.

  7. Add an ice cube to any Montessori water pouring work for some colorful, HOT PINK enticement!

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Aubrey Hargis