Archive for the ‘Behave’ Category

I am sure that you have already discussed the topic before, but now is a good time for a bit of a refresher course. Rather than bringing up stealing randomly and making your child think that they are in trouble, get the conversation started by reading a children’s book together like Ricky Sticky Fingers, by Julia Cook, or watching a movie together like Despicable Me. Then ask your child what they think about the behavior of the characters. Remind them what stealing is, Stealing is taking something that belongs to someone else without asking permission. And also let them know why it is wrong. Stealing makes the other person feel sad. It may help if you give a specific example of stealing. Tell them that taking a toy car from the store without paying for it is stealing. Then see if your child can determine if certain scenarios, like putting the teacher’s pen in their backpack, borrowing a book from the library, or taking papers from Dad’s briefcase are considered stealing as well. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Stealing

Your little one asks for a cup of water, and just as you hand it to her, she screams “NO!” and swats it away. Why did she freak out? When she asked for water, she wanted it with her Dora cup and the straw you gave to her yesterday, not the little purple sippy cup. What is wrong with you?

For toddlers, language issues are often the cause of emotional upsets. For the cup scenario is just a classic example. Your daughter expected exactly what she got last time, but she simply did not have the vocabulary to ask for that particular cup. And even though she did not react politely, it actually makes sense, in this case, to give it to her. Look at it this way: You are meeting your child’s need, now that you have figured it out, and you might even be preventing an even bigger meltdown.

Toddlers do read faces very well, so use both your voice and your language to convey your message to them. And pay attention to your child’s nonverbal cues, such as tilting her head when she does not quite understand something you have said. At least, as much as her words, the results just may surprise you.

One last piece of advice: Instead of spending your energy cleaning up every last mess and worrying about discipline, embrace the toddler perspective more often. You may actually discover a more creative side to yourself and a more cooperative side to your toddler. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Sticky Fingers

 

A child’s whiny requests can wear any parent out by the end of the day. So why does your child whine or throw things or kick you? From their perspective, it works. Whining is a super effective way for an attention loving toddler. It gets you to turn around and focus on what they are saying. If you ignored their 3 previous requests to be held while you were cooking dinner, they neither understand nor cares. They resort to whining because it simply put gets you to respond. Toddlers also do not care whether they get attention for good or bad behavior. Kids will even have seizures or muscle spasms and even eye rolling or head shaking. This is just simply an action that they found to get a parents’ attention. This is what they love, so they keep doing it. When your child misbehaves, try your best to ignore them unless they are in danger or hurting someone else. If you can not blow it off,  move them away from the situation or cause a distraction. This will send a powerful message that you are not going to just respond to negative behavior. Just be careful not to reward bad behavior. For instance, if your child is interrupting you while you are on the phone and you hang up to deal with their behavior, they have gotten exactly what they wanted. Try to predict their need for attention and look for opportunities to encourage her cooperation. You just might be able to fit in a 3-minute phone call if you give your toddler a few reassuring words and kisses while you are on the phone.

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Attention-Seeking

Do you get sick of saying, “Be nice to your brother?” Show it instead. Make a heart out of construction paper. Every time your daughter treats her sibling badly, hand her the paper heart, then walk away. No lecture, no yelling, just a visual that will tell the story. Another, all-purpose option: a discreet thumbs up or thumbs down, or even a zip it motion across your lips. Most importantly, be consistent with these actions. See our previous post on drama. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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heart

Kids have a ton of a lot more stamina than you do. So your child will question, debate, argue, and oppose as long as you let them. (Bedtime battles, anyone?) Every time that you engage in this kind of back and forth exchange, you give them the opportunity to get stronger and better at it. Instead of giving repeated warnings and reminders, give one (“You have ten more minutes to play, then it is time to go to bed”) and ignore any arguments after that. If all else fails, pull out this classic on: Because I am the boss and I said so. You can also check out our post on bad habits. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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drama

The best way to eliminate an unwanted behavior is to substitute an alternative one in its place. Or in other words the positive opposite of unwanted behavior. Instead of focusing on what you do not want your child to do (“I hate when he talks back!”) consider what it is that you do want him to do. (“When it is time to clean up, I want him to simply do it.”)

One sure way to lead him to a positive habit is with praise. When he is behaving well, first act sincerely excited (“Wow!”). Next, specify exactly what you are loving (“You were mad, but you used your words instead of hitting”). Finally, add something physical (a hug or a high five). Give your child props even for small successes, like letting a younger sibling have a turn with a favorite toy. Every time you reinforce a partial success, you are moving that much closer to you ultimate goal. See turn it into a challenge for more ways to improve development.

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high-5

If you are tired of repeating yourself without results, here is some advice that actually works.

How many times do you have to say, or beg, or even yell: “Do not put that in your nose!” “Stop bouncing the ball off of your brother’s head!” “Quit jumping from the chair to the couch!” Thankfully, there are effective ways to communicate so that your child will listen and cooperate in a flash.

Connect, then direct. Sometimes it feels like your kid is not buying what you are selling when in reality they simply can not listen to the pitch. Children do not have great multitasking capabilities. It is almost impossible for anyone, let alone a younger child to concentrate intensely on getting their train tracks to connect in a perfect oval and also listen to you tell them to wash up for dinner. Instead of competing for their attention, ask your child to stop playing for a minute, and get down to their level so you can look them in the eye. Say their name, make your request, ask if they understand, and get them to repeat it back to you.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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SINGLE-PARENT-DAY