#1 Remember 5:1 with positives! Remember 5:1 with positives! 5 positive comments for every 1 “negative” or correction comment. 5 positive comments for every 1 “negative” or correction comment. Focus on desired behaviors (Instead of “Stop yelling!” say, “Use your inside voice.” Instead of “No hitting!” say, “Keep your hands to yourself.”) Focus on desired behaviors (Instead of “Stop yelling!” say, “Use your inside voice.” Instead of “No hitting!” say, “Keep your hands to yourself.”)
#2 Set the stage for success, proactively anticipate the situation. Set the stage for success, proactively anticipate the situation. Examples: Examples: - My son, Max: gets distracted in the morning while eating breakfast— does much better when the island is cleared of “distracters” -Use technology! Have your child learn to set the alarm on their cell phone for reminders (getting up in the morning; soccer practice; time to practice an instrument or do homework). You do less “nagging,” they learn responsibility. -Use technology! Have your child learn to set the alarm on their cell phone for reminders (getting up in the morning; soccer practice; time to practice an instrument or do homework). You do less “nagging,” they learn responsibility. -We do this naturally with our kids as toddlers (time outings around mealtimes, naps, etc.), but less as our kids get older.
#3 Give clear, specific directions. Give clear, specific directions. - A person cannot feel successful & repeat the desired behavior if he/she doesn’t know what behavior to repeat. - Ex. A broad direction “clean the living room” may not get the desired result. Instead, be specific: “Vacuum the carpet, dust the shelves, pick up the magazines” is easier to figure out what is expected.
#4 Stay Calm. Use a Calm voice. Stay Calm. Use a Calm voice. -Enough said, although easier said than done at times!
#5 Set reasonable limits. Set reasonable limits. - Ex. 9:00 bedtime may be needed on a school night, but not on a weekend. -Ex. 1-2 hours total “screen time” – TV + computer + video games. -Talk to friends with similar-aged kids—find out what the “norm” is for curfews, etc. then do what YOU can live with! -Giving up some control may be hard/scary for parents, but kids have to learn responsibility. -Kids are kids—most will “test” limits at some point, this is normal and expected. Your response will let them know how much they can push. This leads to #6…
#6 Be consistent! YES means YES and NO means NO. Be consistent! YES means YES and NO means NO. - Kids are smart. They figure out quickly if we as parents will follow through or not. -If you make an exception to a rule, point it out as such to your child. “The rule is usually 1 hour of screen time a night on a school night, but tonight is different/special because… tomorrow will be back to 1 hour.” -Kids WANT limits and want to know what to expect. Being consistent gives them a sense of safety/security. -We are human—forgive yourself (and your spouse!) if you (or they) “slip up” and try to be more consistent next time!
#7 Set the example. Actions speak louder than words. Set the example. Actions speak louder than words. - “Do as I say, but not as I do,” doesn’t really work too well. -Admit your mistakes and apologize if needed. This lets our kids know adults “mess up” too and it models how to “fess up.”
#8 Re-teach, remind, refresh, REINFORCE! Re-teach, remind, refresh, REINFORCE! -We all need reminders about what is expected from us—our kids are no different. -This is especially true when learning new skills/breaking old habits. It’s easy to fall back into old habits (think about dieting, starting a new exercise regimen, etc.). -Reinforce your kids with positive verbal comments and other “tangible” reinforcers.
#9 Have patience. A little goes a long way! Have patience. A little goes a long way! -Take a deep breath and count to 10 to yourself before responding if needed. -Give yourself a parental “time out” in another room. -Communicate with your spouse or partner; tag-team if necessary! -If you are a single parent, enlist friends or family members to give you a “break” once in a while. This is good for you and your kids! -Take time for yourself and time to be with your significant other away from your children on a regular basis—this refreshes you and them!
#10 HAVE FUN & Enjoy the Ride! HAVE FUN & Enjoy the Ride! -We only get our children for a relatively short time. My dad used to say, “You don’t own your children, you only get to rent them for 18 years.” -Our children are an investment. It’s like putting money in an IRA for retirement. If we take the time and effort when they are young, the rewards/dividends will pay off exponentially when they are older.
Sample Home Reinforcers NON-TANGIBLE REWARDS NON-TANGIBLE REWARDS Extra time on computer Extra time on computer Choosing the family movie/TV Show Choosing the family movie/TV Show Family game night Family game night Other special activity with parent(s) Other special activity with parent(s) Having a friend over Having a friend over Staying up a little bit later Staying up a little bit later Choosing the radio station in car Choosing the radio station in car Extra video game time Extra video game time Get out of 1 chore “free” Get out of 1 chore “free” Ask your child—they will have ideas! Ask your child—they will have ideas! TANGIBLES (things) TANGIBLES (things) Allowance Allowance Going to the movies Going to the movies Going out for ice cream Going out for ice cream Extra “minutes” on cell phone or texting Extra “minutes” on cell phone or texting Going bowling Going bowling Picking out family dessert/meal Picking out family dessert/meal Renting a movie Renting a movie Special toy Special toy Other things as budget allows! Other things as budget allows!