Have you ever had those days where you wanted to escape to a tropical island? Exit stage left? Leave the household and put yourself in time out?
Sometimes the pressure of day to day life can be too much. Add to that tired or disobedient kids and you may have become a ticking time bomb!
So, how can we deal with this? At times escape does seems the best option. But what if your could implement some basic principles to help bring better behavior and function to your household?
There are many techniques we can apply, but sometimes its about getting back to basics. Lets face it, the best sports people in the world get incredible results by doing the basics over and over again. Sometimes as parents we just need to do the same.
1. The BIG “Why”
One of the most common questions a child will ask is “Why?”. At times it can nearly drive you batty. Unfortunately when a child does something wrong, we sometimes forget to explain “Why”. We can move to consequence (time out, etc.) too quickly before explaining the “Why”. When the child understands “Why” the behavior is wrong, it allows them to take ownership of that behavior. Ask the child their ideas on how they could behave differently next time. Affirm there ideas or thoughts and then give them a way forward.
2. Establish Boundaries
Establish boundaries within your house. Leaving a wet towel on the floor may not be the end of the earth. On the other hand, yelling at the top of there voice and screaming may be more detrimental. As would be throwing your pet off the balcony.
Decide on behaviors that are non negotiable s in your house. Pick 2 or 3. Talk with your kids and set the ground rules on how they are required to behave in your house. Remember you are the adult. This is a discussion, but what you say goes. Of course as you set the rules, remember you also are the one to model them.
E.g. “Everyone in this house encourages each other”. “No TV in the afternoon until all homework is done”
3. Affirm Your Child
A study was done many years ago. A group of parents deliberately knelt down every morning, hugged their child and affirmed them. E.g. “Your a strong courageous and clever boy”. “Your a beautiful daughter inside and out”.”I believe in you”. After a period of 1 year they discovered that the children that were hugged and affirmed everyday improved dramatically. Their school results improved dramatically, they were socially more engaged and happier in general life.
Hug, love and affirm your kids every day. When you see them do something well, Praise them! This will change there life and yours!
4. Let the Child Learn Consequences
Sometimes we want to wrap cotton wool around our child and protect them from everything. Of course in the early years this is understandable. At some point though, they need to understand negative behavior has consequences. If a child has a tantrum and throws a rock in his brothers face, this is both dangerous and inappropriate. The child needs to understand this type of behavior is not acceptable and needs a consequence to reinforce it at a cognitive level. This in turn ensures boundaries are kept in future and believe it or not, creates more security in the child.
5. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
There is an old song “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. Whilst this was an iconic song, there appears to be some truth in it. Apologising or admitting we are wrong at times can be a hard thing to do. Sometimes as parents, we too can loose it. A hard day at work, tired, irritable and needing sleep. Our child asks us that one question or does that one little whinge. Bang. Its like an atomic bomb. We loose our cool!
In some cases its not the childs fault, its ours. Sitting our child down in the cool of the night and saying “Sorry”, shows them they are valued. This doesn’t just repair the relationship it models the behavior we want to see in them.
6. Pick Your Fights
Sometimes we need to let things go through to the keeper. I heard a story once. Three children had been out all day. For the last part of the day they had not eaten. Blood sugars had dropped. Tired and irritable they got in the back of the car and lost the plot. Arguing, whinging and having meltdowns. The parents knew they were over tired, had not eaten and didn’t have much left in the tank to manage their behaviors.
Rather than try and reason with them at this late hour, the parents had a quite laugh in the front of the car. By the time they got home 1 hour later, all 3 children were sound asleep like perfect little angels.
Sometimes we need to pick times to fight the good fight and other times we need to let it go!
7. Let Your Child Steal
Let your child steal information. Sometimes information you “over hear” when someone is talking about you is more valuable then hearing it directly from them. Let your children eaves drop on conversations about their positive behavior and attributes. As you talk to your partner or friend, let them know how proud you are of your child, what great behavior they have or how much you love them. Give specific examples. The child will sneak away with that information and it will build their self esteem, security and confidence immensely.
In summary, Love your child like you would like to be loved!