Hello!

This week we’re going to get straight to the solution. 

It is ……… STOP TALKING!

Think of when you are misbehaving- Are you really in the best frame of mind to listen to people telling you what you should be doing and why you should be doing it? No? Well, children are the same.

To get children to change their behaviour, we have to stop telling and start acting.

Remember: Just telling (and telling again) is no more than a wish or a nag

What you can do:

  1. Tell your child what you do expect from them, when everyone is calm. If you do this during the misbehaviour no-one will be listening. You will be wasting oxygen and words.
  2. State the consequences clearly, that means: what will happen if the child does, and does not do, what you require. Remember, having a positive consequence in place is much more motivating for a child to do what is expected. Setting the consequences during calm times will help you remember to do this. E.g. After making yourself a snack, you need to clean up after yourself. If you do, you can have your favourite snack twice in a week. If you don’t, then you can only choose a piece of fruit from the bowl or have nothing.

Some important points:

  • Write it down or draw it – so everyone can be reminded.
  • Remind them, just before you expect them to follow it. This will make it easier for them to succeed.
  • If they still chose not to follow your expectation, you don’t have to lecture, just remind them of the negative consequence that you agreed upon.
  • FOLLOW THROUGH – ensure the consequence is experienced whether it is positive or negative.  This is not easy. It’s important to stay positive and not criticize or blame the child for not following the standard – just give the consequence that you have already discussed.
  • Make the consequences relate – consequences work best if they are linked to the behaviour (for example, not brushing your teeth means no sweet treats, as opposed to missing time on the computer).
  • Do not bluff – you must do what you say. Don’t let no mean – “not yet, pester me and I’ll say yes.”

Dealing with misbehaviour while it is happening is extremely difficult, very stressful, and often doesn’t produce the results that you are hoping for. Working within a system, and knowing how to use consequences so that they actually work for you, helps you come up with solutions to reduce misbehaviour that has become stressful.

  • I have copied this list out. I’m going to try it. I am determined to get my children to listen to me

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  • Some great points to use in our home at the moment!

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  • Pestering always makes me more determined to say no. On occasions I do have to walk away for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes to calm myself down and hope they don’t do or take what I said no about……..Sometimes the only way we get their attention is to make them look us in the face when we are talking to them and vice versa. We get ignored if they are watching a DVD. The “Pause” button works miracles, as does the remove “power” button. My nephew has set his mobile so that he can do it on his mobile. They have a habit of moving too close to the TV screen which according to eye specialists can damage their eyes. He has discovered it will work on mine which is good as he has spotted them sitting too close when I haven’t. Luckily we had the same rules even before they were discussed so there is no confusion in a child’s mind. (I can do it here but Mum and Dad don’t let me) We try to use the same “sayings” and explanations too. However I sometimes forget what theirs are. Both the kids went to the same childcare at different times, so their Mum asked the centre staff what “phrases” they use. If we all use the same there is no confusion in the kids’ minds. I have noticed the Grandparents mostly use the same too. I found out that they had used a lot of the same ones with their kids anyway.

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  • Makes perfect sense to me. Great article.

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  • good advice

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  • I like to think the kids listen to me, they know when I am angry with them and it pulls them up

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  • Might have to do this, my kids get crazy over the holidays!

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  • Must have a positive this I have learnt having step children fighting with my children,

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  • So true about following through on what we say to our kids.

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  • will give it a go!! two tough cookies to crack here!!

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  • I did enjoy reading this and I think most of the time I do all of those things.

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  • I’ve been having issues with my 9 year old son not listening to me – I will be trying some of these tips. Thanks!

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  • Thanks for the help – sometimes we just got to be really tough and assertive and stick to the discipline

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  • I’ve learnt some tips that I will be using with my child. I don’t like empty threats, makes the situation worse.

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  • Lol I loved reading this thanks for sharing :)

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