How you react as a parent is normally connected to how your child is behaving. If you are aware of how you are feeling it will help you to be more aware of what is causing your child’s behaviour.
- Be Consistent – Both parents need to agree on acceptable behaviour otherwise your child will get mixed messages. Don’t make threats you won’t carry out as your child will just learn to ignore you. The most difficult time for parents to be consistent is when they are tired or in a hurry. It is important for parents to be aware of their own energy and mood when it comes to managing their child’s behaviour.
- Be Clear: Make sure that your child is paying attention when you are telling them something. Once you have the child’s attention you have to be specific about what you want them to do. “Watch what you are doing” is not clear enough. “I want you to keep your car on the floor and not on the table” is easier for a child to follow.
- Be Positive: Positive requests like “Walk to the table” are better than negative ones “Don’t run to the table”.
- Reward Positive Behaviour: A child has a basic need for attention & inappropriate behaviour is often a child’s way of getting the attention they need. By acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour the child gets what they need. Rewards like a kiss or a hug or saying “well done” should be given right away so that the child links the behaviour to the attention they are receiving.
©Lifestart Foundation 2018