Keep guidance simple and consistent.
- If your child is behaving in a way you don’t want them to, clearly explain what you want them to do instead. Give a positive rather than focussing on the negative.
- Be available and make time so your child will come to you when they feel something is wrong or are upset.
- Keep talking and listening to your child even if at times it feels like a challenge!
- Review the needs of children living at home. For example, you shouldn’t expect the same from a 12 year-old as you would a four year-old.
- TALK AND SHARE!! Friends and family will understand. Try any ideas they have and may have worked for them.
- Sympathise/empathise with how your child may be feeling – for example, tell them “I know you are frustrated”, if your child is struggling to do something. By acknowledging their feelings will let them know you are listening.
- Avoid criticism wherever possible. If your child has done wrong, explain what it is you’re unhappy with and why.
- Try to avoid getting trapped in petty arguments, it just makes further arguments! Remember you are the adult.
- Talk don’t shout! The louder you shout, the louder the child will shout. Talk in a calm quiet voice and the shouting should decrease.
- Be to the point when discussing an incident. Don’t bring up what the child did 3 weeks last Wednesday, that’s been and gone and will embarrass and frustrate the child further.
- Be consistent. This is the key to positive parenting.
Praise children, even for the little things…
Reward any positive behaviour. This does not have to be with a gift; a “Well Done” “Wow that’s amazing” or a simple “Thank you that was a lovely thing to do”.
Avoid making rash decisions when you’re angry. Usually you will regret your actions, causing you to back track, giving an inconsistent message.
Talk to your child about the rewards and consequences of their behaviour, before rather than after the event. You’ll both know where you stand.
Take time to really listen and actually HEAR to what your children are saying. Acknowledge what they’re saying. This lets them know you really are listening.
Don’t do things that you wouldn’t want your children to do! Kids learn by example.
If your child is displaying a behaviour you wish to stop, use the 1,2,3, strategy.
- “Stop throwing the ball in the house thank you” (child keeps throwing ball)
- “If you don’t stop throwing the ball in the house I will take it away” (child keeps throwing ball)
- Take the ball away and ignore behaviour displayed in frustration
Ignore & distract
If you can see a behaviour emerging, get to it before it escalates. Change the subject, discuss what is for dinner, sing a song…anything to cause a distraction. DO NOT then tell the child about what could have been.
This should be used as a calm down not as punishment and a child should never be put in their bedroom at for Time Out.
1 minute for every year of a child’s life
This happens after the ‘ignore & distract’ and consequences fail.
Talk to the child calmly (even if you don’t feel it)
- Place a hand on the child’s shoulder to emphasise you are talking to them
- Tell them they are going to Time out for ….. minutes and explain why
The child can sit and scream for the …… minutes as long as they stay seated. If they get up the time starts again. REMAIN CALM.
When the time is up, calmly explain why the consequence was put into place, and then finish with a cuddle. Incident should then be put to rest.
Give short sharp commands i.e. Put your shoes on thank you
Don’t plead, this seems like desperation.
Praise even the little things
Acknowledge their feelings
Talk about what went wrong when all calm
If you’re in the wrong; SAY SORRY