Wednesday, 26 July 2017

How Film Nights Helped Our Four Year Olds Tantrums

Ever since our eldest son Tyne turned 4 back in March, we've noticed that his behaviour has become a little more unpredictable.

After having been a very placid and chilled out baby, and an easy going toddler, allowing us to pass through the "terrible two" and "threenager" stages with relative ease, it seemed as though the second he turned four his personality changed over night and we suddenly had a "fournado" on our hands!

His mood swings can be difficult to keep up with - one minute he'll be happily playing with his little brothers and the next he's screaming and throwing things over the slightest little problem.  He also seemed to be experiencing a bit of sibling jealousy for the first time - his brother Noah arrived when Tyne was 2, and our third son Sailor came along just 10 months later so there have been a lot of changes for Tyne to deal with in a short period of time and I suppose we were very lucky that he took it all in his stride so much.

It's only now, 17 months later, that he seems to be starting to feel a bit put out by the fact that his baby brothers take up so much of our attention - it's difficult to know how to ease the situation as obviously at their ages the younger children need us a lot during the day, but we were really conscious of wanting to set aside some one on one time for Tyne too.

So lately we've started to introduce Friday Film Nights - on a Friday, as long as he's been kind and sensible throughout the week, he can stay up later than his brothers and watch a film with us - and indulge in some treats too!

Since we've introduced Friday Film Nights we've noticed a real improvement in his behaviour, and it's been lovely for us to have some quality bonding time with him away from the demands of the little ones too.

I thought I'd share some tips on starting a Film Night with your little one, too.

Help Them To See The Film Night As A Reward

We try to use the film night to encourage good behaviour throughout the week, and whenever Tyne starts to act out we remind him of film night and that he can only be allowed to stay up late and have treats that night if he's kind and sensible throughout the week.

We try not to use it as a threat or a punishment for bad behaviour as at the end of the day, he's only 4 and he's going to have tantrums and get emotional sometimes. But instead we tell him that if we know he's tried his best to be kind to his brothers and other people, and has tried to be act sensibly then he'll be able to enjoy the treat night (It's EXTREMELY rare that it won't go ahead).

Let Them Choose What To Watch

A few times I've made the mistake of trying to push a certain movie that I'd prefer to watch but this usually results in him losing interest quickly, which makes the movie night less enjoyable for everybody.

So now I've stopped trying to influence him to choose The Little Mermaid or The Lion King which just don't interest him at all, and allowed him to choose movies based on his own interests. He is a real fan of anything he considers to be a little "spooky" and so choices such as Hotel Transylvania or The Addams Family are always a winner! He also loves Moana and the Despicable Me movies too!

Supply Some Snacks

Because these film nights are a treat for good behaviour, we like to go all out and make them really fun - we try to have some different snacks every time, along with old favourites like popcorn of course!!

Some of our favourite snacks at the moment are things like strawberry & marshmallows kebabs with chocolate drizzle - Tyne loves helping to put the strawberries and marshmallows onto the kebab sticks!

Tyne's absolute FAVOURITE treat is Chocolate Brownies but he's rather fussy - he doesn't like the shop bought ones, they have to be fresh and warm - in the heat we've been having lately I haven't really felt like standing in the kitchen making freshly baked brownies but we have found a quick and easy alternative!

These Pud In A Mug sachets are great - the gooey chocolate flavour is Tyne's favourite as he says they're just like brownies, and they are honestly so handy, you just add a little milk to a mug and pour the contents of the sachet in, stir and pop into the microwave for 50 seconds - job done!

The chocolate chip flavour is my personal favourite but you can get Sticky Toffee flavour too! You can buy these from Asda, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco and they're only 89p!

Do you enjoy film nights with your little ones? What are their favourite movies to watch?

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