Archive for the ‘Behavior’ Category

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

You are playing a game of hide-and-seek with your child and your little one has his head behind the curtains, but his feet are sticking out. He is sure that he is well hidden because in his mind he thinks that you are both seeing the same thing. Toddlers are still learning that there are several different points of view.

They will also have trouble trying to imagine another complicated type of point of view: the future. So your 3-year-old is not able to see what it means when you say something like, “We are going home in five minutes.” That is why he will be surprised when you march him out the door in five minutes. Instead, tell him how you are going to leave. We will put on our shoes and give our friend a hug and then we are walking to the car. Do not bother telling him why you are leaving. He only cares that his fun is coming to an end. However, you can mention to him that Dad is waiting at home, to help set the stage for developing sympathy for others. Check out our previous post on Seeing Everything. 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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One Way

This does not mean that no one will ever fight. Conflict and connection go hand in hand. The opposite of connection is not conflict, it is indifference. It also helps to remind kids that they are allies. If you give kids a task to do together, it will reduce the conflict. This works well with my twins, and it will work well for you too. “You guys are fighting a lot over the Legos,” I said to them last summer. ” Do you want to figure out a way to organize them so that they are easier to share?” The kids wrote down some notes, pulled some containers from the recycling bin, and separated building areas. This calling on the conflicted parties to come up with their own solutions is one of my favoeite resolution strategies.

Of course, this is not always going to work with a grubby-footed baby who is staggering joyfully around the tent, getting mud all over her brother’s sleeping bag. Or with the remorseless snatch-and-go toddler who steals every one of the Lincoln Logs that her sister lays down. But even then, you can try taking the big kid aside and saying, “This is so frustrating for you. What do you think we can do about it?” You may be surprised by the way a child will rise to the problem-solving occasion. “Let’s fill the bucket and wash her feet in it!” or “What if I give her a turn with my special farm?” or even, “I do not know. I hate it when she does that.” At the very least, but something has shifted in me. I feel a kind of awareness that there is not another, better life we are traveling toward. There is just this life here, in this car, with these kids whom I love, whose needs are different from mine and just as important. Staying connected is the key. It is where kids get the attitudes, optimisn, zest for life, and resilience that tell the story abut how happy they will be. I can not think of a better story I would rather tell.

Did you read the Story of Abundance. That post ties in greatly with this one. Check it out! 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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Conflict

 

 

As the kids get older compared with those younger years, everyday life takes much less effort. My spouse and I are not as tired as we were then. The kids brush their teeth on their own, pour their own cereal, and buckle themselves in the car. They no longer topple over each other’s stuff for no apparent reason.

That is most of it, of course. But there are also some things we do deliberately, things that you can do too, to make harmony the household vibe. You can cultivate communication and compromise, flexibility and kindness, courtesy and the benefit of the doubt. Or, well, harmony. Each voice is different, and the individual notes might vary, but we are all singing the same song. We talk about achievement but not enough about the power of love, connection, and harmony.

Are there breakdowns along the way? Sure there are. The kids still make weird sounds specifically tailored to drive each other crazy. I am irritated when people leave their homework and art projects spread all over the dining room table. We fight boringly about household chores. But because we enjoy each other’s company, and because we enjoy enjoying it, if you follow, we try to solve our problems as quickly as possible so we can get back to it. These are some of the methods that have worked for us. Check out this wonderful children’s book on love and harmony, I Love You Through And Through. 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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Harmony

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