July 30th, 2010
You are in the middle of the grocery store and your child is throwing one whopper of a fit. How do you handle these temper tantrums children throw? When your child is acting out it is very important to avoid many of the most common reactions to their bad behavior. Although these may seem helpful they can actually confuse your child of very critical learning points in their lives.
1. Embarrassing: Do not yell at your child and say things like “do you want your friends to think you’re a big baby?” This may make your child feel embarrassed and judged. This may make him angry or upset.
2. Discounting: Never make your child feel as if something he is upset about isn’t worth being upset. By telling your child something is “not a big deal” may make your child second guess his own, natural feelings. This could make your child extremely frustrated.
3. Bribery: Telling your child you will give them some type of reward for doing what is already expected of them like, being polite, will only confuse them more. They should not expect an incentive for things you expect them to always do.
4. Threatening: Never threaten your child when they are already upset. Telling your child “I’ll give you something to cry about if you don’t stop,” will only scare them with violence.
5. Isolating: When your child has been acting out it is important not to shun them. Making a child go to their rooms alone because you don’t want to be around them when they act out could only make them angrier as well as feeling isolated and scared. Leaving your child to be sad all alone will not make them feel any better.
Although all of these responses may have good intentions, it will not necessarily get your point across and could end up confusing your child. Children cannot read between the lines and find the true meaning of what you feel unless you express them clearly and effectively. Correcting your child’s behavior doesn’t always have to be a punishment or threat, it can simply be a way of telling your child exactly why you disagree with what they are doing and how they can fix their actions. Learning to communicate with your child properly will be much more effective then scolding them and making them feel many emotions you may have not anticipated when reacting.
July 26th, 2010
It is important to start teaching your child about kid chores and how to clean up after themselves. Even if your child is too young to clean up entirely on their own they can still do their part as much as they are capable of doing and slowly as they get older they can do more and more to help. Don’t just expect your child to catch on perfectly to this idea at first but teach them that it is a part of life that they will have to get use to doing from then on.
Show your child how to clean up in portions at a time. If you see your kid playing with one thing, leaving it and going for another take them back and show them to clean up that set of toys before they start playing with another. The earlier you show this to your child the better it will be for them in the long run and make them a much more organized person.
Make sure your child has the right supplies to complete the identified kid chores. Give them different size and colored boxes and cans. Make each box for certain things so they can have specific areas to put their different toys. When you are telling them what to clean, tell them exactly which toys to pick up instead of just telling them to clean. This will make the entire cleaning process much easier for them because they will know exactly what to clean up and where to put them.
Also make sure that you keep all of your child’s play things and toys all in one area. Giving them their own area will make sure that there are no trails of toys all over your home.
July 21st, 2010
Often there are problems with children sharing – sharing toys, sharing attention, sharing just about anything. A child uses the word “mine” because it helps him or her to feel so important that they are able to have actual ownership over one thing or another. “Mine” is not a problem unless the child becomes overly possesive. It is important to prevent these types of problems in the first place by teaching children sharing techniques and instilling a belief that it is just as important to give as it is to take.
First of all, it is important to let your child have some possessions of their own or it will make it that much harder to get them to share. Allow them to have their own special toys or blankets that are not taken out when company is present. Take them out only when he or she is alone and can enjoy them on their own without anyone else trying to take them away from your child. This will give your child the feeling that they have their very own territory.
Another important thing is to show them that they are not the only ones who must share. Point out any time you’re sharing a book or something to your friend. This will make sharing seem less unfair because everyone, including you, does. Also point out any time your child is sharing on their own and praise them for it. Say things like, “I’m very impressed with how well you are sharing and letting your friend have a turn with the toy.”
For children close in age it is important to always tell their toys apart from each other. Simply writing labels on the bottom of toys or on the tags can help you to not get two teddy bears confused, especially those toys the child feels specific ownership of.
Let your child know ahead of time that sharing is important. If you know that a friend of your child is coming over to play make sure and tell them they will be expected to share with them. Tell them rules of sharing like if a toy is set down anyone can play with it but if you’re still holding it then it is yours until you set it down.
It’s important to remember that sharing may not be so easy for your child at first, it will take some time for them to get use to the idea of what they own and what they do not. By age three or four is when most children become comfortable with sharing enough to do it on their own depending on how soon you teach them.
July 16th, 2010
Sometimes it’s hard to find time for those little but important moments that show love throughout our busy days. This is where kids notes come in to play. There will always be times in your child’s life that you cannot be right there with them to tell them how you feel about them. However there are a few different ways you can let your child know that you are there for them even when you can’t be there physically.
An old trick mothers have been doing for years is to leave a special note in your child’s lunch box. While packing your kids lunch in the morning before school take that napkin and write down something sweet for them to see later in their day. Even something as simple as saying, “Have a good day honey! I love you”, will put a smile on their face and remind them they are loved. You never know when your child might be having a bad day at school and this could be just the thing to get them in a better one. Doing this often will give them something to look forward to at lunch time, besides just the food.
You can also try using posted notes when they’re not at school. Leaving them notes on the kitchen table, the refrigerator, or mirror can help them throughout their day as well. You could even leave some funny notes on their favorite toys; anywhere you know they’ll be you can put them.
The kids notes don’t always have to be love notes either. They can be there to make your child laugh, smile, to apologize for something or to thank them for something they did.
No matter what they say or how they say it, these kids notes can be used to let your child know you care for them. Everyone expressed emotions in one way or another and little love notes can be a way for anyone to express how they love their children while letting them know as well.
July 14th, 2010
As television, video games, and movies become more and more popular, story telling has become and much more rare among families. Not too long ago stories were only told through stories tellers, and not through the media and that way of telling tales cannot be replaced by things like television shows or magazines.
Telling stories with your child can be one way to bring back the time of story telling in your household. This can also become a fun way for your child to express your creativity and ideas. Here are six storytelling tips to make your storytelling time more alive;
1. Switch up an ending: Have your child pick one of their favorite stories and let them come up with their own ending to it. It could be from a make believe story or even a family story. They can use their humor or imagination to change the tale in the end for a surprise.
2. Start from scratch: after your child gets more use to the story telling ideas start with a completely made up story. You can develop it with them in three sections; beginning, middle and end. It will be fun for them to make up their own characters and plots. They can feel as if they created something all on their own.
3. Use your bodies: While you and your child go through the story use your hands, face and voice to add detail to the story. This will give the characters you make more reality and make it more fun too.
4. Dress up: pick out a famous story throughout history that has some kind of encouraging and helpful message to it. Then pick out characters and dress up like them. You can use props as well and turn you living room or bed room into a space where you and your children can act out the story together. This will really make the story come to life for them.
5. Predict the Future: Make up a story about the future for a change. You can pick out a problem or concern you and your child have and make it into a story. You can end it however you wish that thing will turn out.
6. Silly story telling: you and your child can both narrate the story together switching after each word. You can change your voices and make the telling of the story the funniest part.
July 9th, 2010
Communication is the base of a relationship so ways to improve communication will always be put to good use. Here are a couple tips to help you better communicate with your child.
1. Acknowledge why your child feels the way they do and if not, ask them why.
2. Ask them to express their exact emotion when upset or frustrated and let them know how your perceive what they are feeling through their actions
3. Both express why you both feel a certain way and where the desire comes from to do that.
4. Have your child state what he or she feels they need at that time and why. You may also state what you feel they need and why and explain why if they are different from one another.
If you have additional suggestions for ways to improve communication, we would love to hear them. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section.
July 5th, 2010
Wouldn’t it be great if you could establish a No Whining zone in your home? You will find that even when all your child’s needs are met, they still may have something to whine about. Sometimes your child may just be in a bad mood for no real reason at all. At times it may seem very hard to ignore them when they are causing a fuss and acting out but at these times ignoring them may be the best answer.
However preventing your child from whining in the first place will solve the problem all together. Praising your child every time they are showing any good behavior will encourage them to act that way more. Giving them more attention for being good then for whining will prevent them from whining at all. Make sure you are giving your child everything he or she needs so you are not giving them any legitimate reason to be whining about. Make sure they are always fed, bathed, dressed and loved.
Explain to your child exactly what whining is and why you do not like it. Tell them they will get what they want when they ask nicely and that being mean and fussing will only make it more difficult for them to get what they want in the situation. Show your child the difference between your reaction when they are both good and bad and this will make it easier for them to understand the difference.
If your child is crying or continues to whine you can give them a place to go and let their emotions out. Designate a place for them to go and let out their frustrations but let them know that you do not wish to be around them when they are doing so. Tell them that once they have finished crying and can tell you what they want without becoming emotional that they can come back and talk with you about it. This will let them know that it is not bad to cry or become emotional but that it is also not a way of getting what they want either.
June 30th, 2010
Teaching children to have patience is a skill that will benefit them now and through their entire lives. It is important to teach your child that the world does not evolve around them and wanting something doesn’t always mean they will get it.
Preventing this problem in the first place will make it much easier on you and your child. Help your child to realize that there are other things he can do while waiting for what he wants to do. Tell them things like “you can play with your blocks for five minuets and then we’ll go to the park.” This way your child will realize that not getting their way doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, they can still have fun doing other fun things as well.
If your child continues to whine even after giving them other options make sure and stay as calm as possible. It’s important to remember that they are still learning and it may take some time for them to understand how to become patient. Although the idea of being patient may seem like a simple concept to a child it may be confused as to why they can’t get their way. You must be patient yourself and give your child time to understand the meaning of the word before he or she can act on it.
Any time you notice your child even showing the slightest bit of patience don’t let it go unnoticed! Give them praise and tell them how proud you are of them for being patient, especially if they are doing it all on their own.
Make rules for your child. Telling them what they must do before they can get what they want will make them more likely to do their chores without complaint. Tell them things like, “You have to pick up all your toys and put them away before we can go to your friend’s house.”
Telling your child no may not always be avoidable, however try and give them alternative things to do. Telling your child no and giving them no other options will leave them feeling unsatisfied and confused. It is important to let them know why this is not a possibility and them let them know what is.
June 25th, 2010
The day your child begins using snide remarks and bad words you may be caught very off guard. It will probably surprise you to hear such things come out of your child’s mouth but just remember that those words are learned just like he or she learned every other word. The first step to take in avoiding back talking is to simply prevent them from hearing any examples of back talking in the first place. If you find your self getting in an argument with your child make sure to not back talk to them yourself because this will only encourage them to do the same to you. Even if your child is watching you in an argument with someone else it is still important to set a good example if you are going to expect the same from them.
Make sure you continually teach your child words like please, thank you, and I’m sorry. Don’t just teach them the words but where and when to use them, reminding them that they are necessary. It’s also good to let them know more importantly how to say them because saying thank you in a mean voice is not really a thank you.
Make sure your child is aware of what exactly back talk is and why you do not approve of it. Let them know that refusing, name calling, or yelling mean words is back talk and that is not ok.
Another very important step in stopping back talk would be to monitor what your child sees and hears during their day. Make certain that you try your best to not allow any inappropriate words slip from your mouth in front of your child. Make sure that your friends and family know to hold their tongues around your child as well. Try to also pay close attention to your child’s playmates and what kind of language they use. Your child could be very influenced by what their peers say and do so make sure they are not being encouraged to back talk.
March 13th, 2010
This is the parenting tip included in this month’s newsletter. Each newsletter includes a feature articel, parenting tip and nutritious food recipe. Make sure you sign up now.
Seek and Ye Shall Find
What you give your attention to, you will attract more of. What you look for, you will find. Catch your kids being good and you will likely find more good behavior in the future. A key element of positive parenting is to give attention to good behavior while paying less attention to negative behavior. That isn’t always easy, especially when your ADHD child’s negative behavior is so very noticeable and their “good” behavior is less obvious. Yet, these kids are the ones who need to be caught the most. Make a point of seeking out good behavior every day. Soon you will find more of the behavior you like to see. The point to remember is that expected behavior is “good.” You expect your child to put his toys away. When he does, make a point to recognize that behavior. “Hey, thanks for picking up your toys.” Praise is a powerful reward for children and these simply, split-second exchanges “teach” your child how to get the goodies. So be generous when handing out the rewards for good behavior and catch your child being good as often as you can. “You were nice to your sister a minute ago. She likes that.” “You are so focused on your Legos. And look how neat it’s turning out.” “You put your shoes away. Cool!” A hug, a smile, a touch on the shoulder or a wink of the eye work as effectively as words. These praise rewards will encourage good behavior far better than scoldings will.