“Seven am on the first day of summer vacation was, to her mind, a dangerous time to be awake. Even God had to be sleeping in.”
― Victoria Kahler, Luisa Across the Bay
One thing that almost all of us remember from our childhood is the period of summer holidays. Most families have summer holiday traditions that range from a mango-eating contest or visiting granny’s place, to scooting off to an exotic destination. Like everything else, summer plans have also been affected by the pandemic. Everyone is feeling it, and it has undoubtedly made it more difficult for parents to manage their children’s behaviour.
In today’s post, we will cover five easy strategies to deal with the child’s behaviour.
With crystal clear instructions, parents can prevent many challenging behaviours displayed by their children. Clear instructions will also encourage children to follow through with parental requests as they realise exactly what needs to be done. Focusing on ‘what needs to be done’ instead of ‘what needs to be avoided’, being precise and not posing instructions as questions, and asking clarifying questions to ensure that children understand are some ways of giving clear instructions.
Parents often praise their children for doing something out of the ordinary. However, if used correctly, praise can help you promote desired behaviour in your child. Here is a four-step praise process developed by Dr Alan Kazdin.
Parents need to offer praise immediately after the behaviour has taken place and parents must avoid statements that undermine the praise such as – see it is not that hard, why don’t you do this every day, etc.
Almost all parents know that they need to set boundaries for their children. ‘Connect and Redirect’ is a discipline tool but can also be used to set boundaries. It supports positive parent-child relationships. It has two steps – connect and redirect.
Connection allows both parents and children to be more receptive towards each other. First step towards this is for parents to realise how they are responding to their child. Here are a few tips that parents can follow to connect better with their child.
Connecting with the child sets the groundwork for redirection as it makes the child emotionally ready for listening to the parents. Here is how you can use the redirect step to set boundaries with the child. Use limited words and try not to lecture the child. Remember to acknowledge the child’s emotions even when you might disagree with the actions. Explain to the child what is expected of them in concise language. Involve the child into the process by asking for their opinion or giving limited choices.
Reiterate the boundary and if needed, ask the child to tell what is expected of them in their own words.
Children tend to like certain activities and dislike others like all of us. It can get quite difficult to get the child to move from one activity to another in such a scenario. That is when you can use this ‘Get to yes’ script to help children transition from one activity or place to another. Here is how you can do that in three simple steps:
There are times when parents need to use disciplinary tools to manage their child’s behaviour. ‘Time-out’ and ‘Time-In’ are two such tools. Time-out is about some time away from the rewarding stimuli. It demands parents to deal with the children calmly and in a way that neither threatens or rewards them. Time-in is a four step process that builds the child’s trust in the parents. It enhances the parent-child relationship by making the child feel supported. The four steps are – ask, act, attend, and amend. Staying connected is at the core of this discipline technique.
These are different behaviour management techniques that are likely to make things easier for parents this summer. Parents need to figure out what works best for their child and choose the tool that meets their unique requirements. Like everything else, consistency plays a huge role in managing the child’s behaviour. So be consistent, and you will see results in no time.
Are you familiar with these techniques? Are you excited to try them out? Do let us know your experience of using these at home in the comments below.
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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