Selasa, 23 November 2010

Child Behaviour Tips

Ask for what you want (all ages)

There are definitely ways of saying things to children that can encourage them to do as you ask.  For example, saying ‘”will you” or “would you” can encourage teamwork by giving children a feeling that they are being invited to participate and that you trust them to do what you ask.

On the other hand by saying ‘”can you” or “could you”, children may think to themselves, “Well yes I can do it, but why should I?” or say “Yes I could do it if I wanted but I don’t want to”.

Sometimes it is not so much what we say to children but how we say it. You will need to ask in a positive way while being respectful and using a pleasant tone. If you were talking to other adults such as our work colleagues, you would be respectful and speak politely. Yet sometimes when we are talking to children we seem to talk to them in a more negative, bossy way and even aggressively sometimes.  For example, you may say to your child “can you hurry up and put those things away” yet to a colleague or other adult you may say “please would you put those things away”.  By adopting the same respect that you would give to adults, children will feel validated and happier to oblige.

What you say to your children has one of the biggest impacts on your children’s behaviour.

 It is a simple thing to do, it has instant results and the children don’t even know you are doing it. As I have mentioned our brains are like a computer and will reach for answers to the questions that you put into it.  Therefore it is important to ask for the behaviours that you want, not what you don’t want.

Asking for what you want, try some ideas out for yourself;

Tell children what you want in a positive way
What they hear
Tell children what you want in a negative way
What they hear
Would you Sit on the sofa, please

Sofa sit
‘For goodness sake can you to stop jumping on the sofa.’
Jump sofa
Will you Sit still on your chair please

Chair sit
Stop getting down from the table you naughty girl
Down table
Would you keep your hands to yourself
Hands yourself
Could you stop hitting your brother
Hit brother
Would you please walk by the pushchair
Walk pushchair

Put in your own examples below

You might think what’s wrong with saying “stop jumping”?  Well it doesn’t matter if you say “stop jumping” or “jump”, your children will hear “jump” and so they will tend to do that.  Children don’t necessarily know what you want them to do instead of jump, so you are more likely to get what you want if you are specific.
You may find that you use a negative and a positive request in the same sentence such as;

“Stay by the pushchair and stop running off”. This is confusing and far less effective than a clear positive request of “Would you please walk by the pushchair?” Therefore cut out the negative part on the end, no matter how tempting it is to say it.

You will need to gain your child’s attention and make eye contact with them before asking them to do something. Do it face to face without shouting from a distance. Ask children twice for what you want, once to ask them directly for what you want and the second time to give them a chance to do as they are asked or in case they did not understand the first time. If you ask, more often than that, children just realise that you don’t mean business until you reach the third or fourth time or however many times you ask and this will just escalate the problem. By nipping unwanted behaviour in the bud you will catch children before they get really angry and frustrated. If they do not do as they are asked after the second time, take them to the next stage which may be a fitting consequence.
For example;

  • ‘Would you please pick up the bricks and put them in the box?

Pause for around 10 seconds for a response, if no response. Repeat it

  • ‘Would you please pick up the bricks and put them in the box?’

No response

  • Ok I am going to turn off the TV until you have picked up the bricks

If your child responds, then you can say, ‘Thank you for picking up the bricks’.
If they do not respond, go to the next step which is to give a fitting consequence.

This tip is taken from my Parent’s Guide to Children’s Behaviour online course, for all my tips and suggestions and the complete guide to children’s behaviour sign up now ………

All the Best


Rabu, 17 November 2010

1 common parenting mistake

Rewarding negative behaviour!

We all want the best for our children and most of us would not knowingly do things that would make them feel bad or their behaviour worse. While working with children for over 30 years I have noticed very common, universal things that parent’s do that are simply making their children’s behaviour worse. Rewarding Negative behaviour is one of the most common and it is done accidentally or unconsciously most of the time just to get some instant relief from the children’s bad behaviour. Of cause if you just stop to think about it you will see that rewarding negative behaviour is just going to make it more likely to happen again.

What sorts of negative behaviours are getting rewarded?

Making a noise
Showing off
Being demanding
Being cheeky or rude

These are common behaviours and pretty much all children have done them to some degree at one time or another. If children receive some kind of reward or payoff when they do this they will quickly learn that it gets them what they want.

Why do children act this way?

They get the toy they want
They get the attention they want
They get the reaction they want
They don’t have to do something they didn’t want to do
They get the sweets, money or game they wanted
Although children end up getting what they wanted in the short term, in the long run this is very destructive for them because they need to learn better ways to handle themselves. If they learn to ask for what they want in a positive way, it will help them to feel good about themselves and be more confident in their own abilities.

Some things parents are doing to reward negative behaviour?
Smiling at behaviour to pretend it was just a joke,
Giving them affection such as sitting them on your knee and trying to cuddle them out of a tantrum
Talking or trying to reason with them while they are screaming
Trying to placate them while they are crying for something
Giving into them
Not having consequences for disobedient behaviour

Because children will do more of what they get attention for, it is vital that you stop rewarding negative behaviour. Instead you need to use positive methods to encourage good behaviour such as using rules and boundaries and age appropriate consequences. Just by watching out for the times that you do it will help you to stop it, so next time your child’s starts their screaming or arguing, walk away, don’t get drawn into confrontation and stay calm and remember!

Children can’t fight with someone who won’t fight, it’s not worth screaming at someone who won’t listen and what’s the point of having a tantrum if no one is their to see it!!!

Herbs and Spices: Familiar Flavors Help Your Child Like New Foods

By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food

Herbs and Spices -- High in Antioxidants

Herbs and spices are very healthy.  They are extremely high in antioxidants -- after all, many of them were originally used to preserve food.  Some spices have useful phytochemicals that help us fight viruses, bacteria, and even prevent cancer or heart disease.

Using Herbs and Spices to Make Unfamiliar Food That Tastes Familiar

As healthy as herbs and spices are, they are also an extremely helpful tool in helping children learn to like healthy food.  In almost every culture, a time-honored way of getting children to like a new food is to flavor it with a familiar taste.  Greek children will happily eat a new food if it tastes like oregano and lemon.  Indian children will love any new food that tastes like curry.  Your child may eat anything as long as it has ketchup dumped all over it!

While your child is still young -- even a baby -- introduce him to a wide variety of herbs and spices.  Sprinkle cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on your child's apple slices.  Add some fresh chopped garlic to your child's spaghetti.  Put a little turmeric in your child's macaroni and cheese. 

Once your child learns to love these flavors, you can introduce another food by sprinkling the same familiar herbs on it.  Feeding your child pomegranate for the first time?  Sprinkle the same cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg on this new fruit. It will seem familiar and comforting.

Herbs and spices are not only healthy, they're also a great tool for introducing new foods!

Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on

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