Archive for the ‘Decision’ Category

If you suspect that your child has stolen something (or if they are caught red handed), you should rehash why stealing is wrong and help them see it from the other person’s perspective. “How would you feel if David stole your coloring book?” Go light on the talk of police involvement or breaking the law. These scare tactics can stop your child from being honest about their misbehaviors and can cause them to fear police officers rather than viewing them as helpers in an emergency situation.

Instead, you should right the wrong. Help your child apologize and return the item to its rightful owner. If it is not returnable (as in the case of my niece, who was already munching on the cookie), pay for it and make your child do an extra set of chores to pay you back. If you have already left the store or find an item at home, take it back (if possible) and follow through with consequences that fit the crime. For example, if your kid steals a toy, they might have to donate one of their own to an organization that helps needy children. Repeated thievery or other troubling behavior may require help from a therapist. Fortunately, most kids who take something once or twice and face real life consequences (having to apologize, angering a friend, disappointing parents) do not steal again. 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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Offenses

Kids may pick up something because they are afraid to ask for it. They do not know what to say or they think the response will be a no. Focus on helping your child learn how to ask permission and practice it with them. You might guide them through asking a friend to borrow a bookmark, for instance, or asking a teacher if they can have a sticker. Praise them when they do the right thing in their daily activities. “Jenna, I appreciate that you asked for the crayons before taking them.” Explain to them that requesting permission does not automatically mean that they will get what they want all the time. The person may just say no. Discuss other ways that they could get what they want, for example, adding it to a birthday wish list, or doing some extra chores around the house to earn it. If they know there are other ways to get sunglasses, they may be less likely to swipe those that belong to a friend. 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

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

 

 

Where to eat, which board game to play, what to do with a free evening: Teachable moments abound. Not only will giving your input reinforce for the kids that their opinions matter, but they will also get practice negotiating, compromising, and conceding. Especially now that the kids are older, we enjoy their illuminating feedback about how to allocate our limited resources. When Joe recently lobbied for a new couch, he wants a big, comfy one. He inspired to comparison shop online and present various budget-friendly options.  This is the big kid version of letting him pick out a passion fruit in the supermarket when he was 4, and it is teaching him the same skills, according him the same respect, and diminishing, in a small but real way, some of that powerless feeling that children must suffer from so much. Check out our other post on Including Your Kids. 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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Decision

 

 

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