Theres a stack of books and programs on managing children's behaviour. They may all be good, each in their own way, but which technique to use? Count to 3, time-out, rewards? Arrgh! Its easy to feel overwhelmed.
Here is one big fat juicy strategy that cuts to the chase. Its my all-time favourite.
1. Model what you want to see.
Managing strong emotions, empathy, sharing, gentle touch, manners, humour, playfulness, and perseverance – these are some of the life skills we want to see our kids develop. They don’t happen in a vacuum. All children need to see these life skills modelled – they can’t grow something they haven’t seen, and wont see the value of the skill if they don’t experience the benefits. To make it an everyday behaviour, it needs to be everyday for the parents too. Social skills are learnt through the day-to-day experiences of family members rubbing up against one another in the home.
Naturally a high-energy kid might find it hard to use their voice or hands gently; or a child with vivid imagination may lose themself in play and forget to take turns with a toy. Each child is born with a unique temperament and talents that make some skills more challenging to develop than others – that’s diversity. It makes sense that each child will naturally express their skills with varying success, but all children need an example to follow.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others,
it is the only means.” ~ Albert Einstein
For other tips on behaviour, download a free eBook titled
Behaviour 10 Top Tips
We have a stand at the World's Biggest Playgroup Day. 10-1 on Wednesday at Whiteman Park. Do drop by and say hello if you're there!
Why Playgroup? Its hard to know what to commit to, when so many pre-school programs are available. But as a parent of 3 teenagers, I look back now and can vouch for the local playgroup hands-down. It hooked me into a local network that was only a pram push away. Over the years we got to know each - a type of 'in the trenches' type friendship that grows through doing time together. Week in, week out, you can't pretty up a toddler tantrum or hide the shattered look from a sleepless night. Pretences eventually drop and there you are comrades with toddlers in arms. I made some life-long friends that even if I don't see them so much now, they would drop sticks and come if I called. Belly-laughs and tears, we've shared them all. Today our children are still catching up with some of their mates they made through playgroup, and the great blessing is, most of them are in walking distance.
If you want to hook up with a playgroup in your area, go to playgroupwa.com.au
FamilyWorks comes to Playgroup Sharon has recently been attending a few different playgroups around Perth to help support parents with a range of challenges in those first few months. If there are a bunch of you in a mothers group or playgroup that would like a visit - contact Sharon - she can present strategies to address a variety of early parenting issues or simply visit and respond to your questions.
Is your child calm, focussed and learning? Children are exposed to all sorts of stimulation in their environment, both positive and challenging. How your child deals with their environment depends on your child's capacity to self-regulate. Stimulation can come in all shapes and sizes that stir a different responses in a child's thinking, feeling and body. For example, one child might find loud music energising, another might find it overwhelming. Even though a child may be raised in a similar setting as a sibling; they may well have differing abilities to understand and manage strong emotions and impulses.
Protecting children from excessive stress and helping them to manage strong emotions provides a foundation for healthy development and learning. Check out this short video by Dr Jack Shonkoff.
Now we are full swing into the festive season, don't forget to take a a breather.
Are you racing from one event to another, one shop to the next, feeling pretty driven? Underneath the festive bling, advertisers are working hard to spend our money, flashing images of success, beauty, power, urging us to feel like we are not 'enough'. We can be swept up in a mindset where we are are left feeling like we want more, we need more and desire to 'be' more.
What is the Christmas message you want to pass on to your children?
Who's standards and expectations are you holding?
We designed the Expecting Masterclass to give pregnant couples a crash course in what to expect when they get home with their baby. Another important part of the Masterclass is the opportunity to reflect on early child development and the critical parent-infant relationship. A key mechanism of building this relationship and fostering optimum brain development is sensitive responsivness - described in this video as 'serve & return'. This is just one of the messages we explore in the 1 day Masterclass.
There is something very special about the way a child experiences the excitement and adventure of a relationship with their Dad.
A parent’s role is not to cotton-wool our kids from reality, but rather to equip them with skills to live it well. Children who can recognise their strong thoughts or feelings and respond to them in a safe way are more able to cope with the pressures of life.