What can I do?

Understand why - hint - they are not being naughty!

Throwing is a complex skill for a child to learn - first gripping an object, aiming and letting it go at the right time. And depending on what the object is and what it hits – they’ll get a different reaction. So it’s not surprising that once toddlers get the hang of throwing, they’ll want to practice - by throwing anything - and at anyone! They need your help to learn where and when throwing is acceptable.

Encourage games where they can safely practice their throwing.

There will be less frustration all round if you can set up fun games where they can practice their throwing, especially if you play with them – throwing balls or rakau (using rolled up newspapers) to each other. Scrunched newspaper or sock ‘balls’ can be a safe option for indoors – make a target like the empty washing basket

Remind them what they can throw, where and when.

Calmly reinforce what they can throw, where and when – “eg you can throw those stones into the pond when we get to the park– but not at your brother. Let’s take those sticks outside - that’s where they belong – see if you can hit that bush over there! Balloons can be a safe indoor option - not quite throwing but you can bat them with plenty of energy, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside .

Limit food throwing frustrations.

Throwing food is great fun for young kids - especially when they get a reaction from you. Keep it to a minimum by:

  • Sitting with them while they eat so you can step in quickly.
  • Giving them small amounts of food at a time and waiting until they’ve finished.
  • Keeping calm when it happens and reminding them that food belongs in their mouths.

If it keeps happening, they’re bored not hungry – take the food away and clean up.

Over it? Use your phone timer to set a time limit for a play activity – your full attention for five minutes is better than half pai for longer.

Need back-up? Family members might be willing to help but not sure what to do. . Be specific – “could you please bath/feed change/dress baby”

Feeling like a bad parent? Look around and check is there anything that could be dangerous to the kids? If not, relax – you’re doing OK!

Feel like you’re always on the go? Your kids are the most important thing - and they’re only young once. Think about what absolutely must be done now and what can wait.

Worried what others think of your parenting? What your kids think of you is what really matters! If you focus on them, you’re already doing a great job.

Feeling down? Talking with someone you trust can be the first step to finding help. Working out whether your feelings are temporary or more lasting is important. Depressed? Writing down your feelings in a daily diary will help you monitor whether it’s getting better or worse. This will also help you explain better if you go to your doctor.

Sick of yelling? Try singing your frustration instead. If you hop or jump at the same time, everyone gets the giggles — another great tension buster!

Feeling yuk? If no-one else can help with the kids, grab a pillow and blanket - set up camp in your lounge until you start to feel better

Had enough? You may feel like you need alcohol or drugs to relax – but they often make the situation worse, especially when you have to deal with kids. Who could help you cut down or cut it out?

Stress over unpaid bills? Have a banking setup that automatically takes money out for your main bills first. Then you know what you have left to survive on.

Determined to stay calm?

Download the app and keep SKIP’s tips handy!

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Putting it all together

SKIP’s approach is based on six things which children need from parents to help them grow into happy, capable adults.

Tell me more

  • Love & warmth

  • Talking & listening

  • Guidance & understanding

  • A structured & secure world

  • Consistency & consequences

  • Limits & boundaries