Sunday, February 1, 2015

Misguided behaviour may need positive attention

Many parents think of discipline as punishment. But the word “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplina,” which means “teaching, learning.” That’s the key to correcting our kids’ behaviors – giving them the tools they need to learn a better behavior.

Parent that go searching for easy quick answers tend to have a hard time implimenting new skills or learning a new way to parent. It takes practice and time. A lot of misguided discipline can be healed with more love and attention. But not the constant I got your back and what you need attention, but quality attention.

Kids need attention, plain and simple. They crave our love. Once they grow from babies to toddlers to preschoolers, they still need our attention. We mustn't get too busy to forget how little they still are. Taking them out the park is not attention. It's not the whole job. You can't go home and say there, I did something for you, now be happy. They need more than that.
Kids will seek out any attention they can get – even negative attention. They’ll push our buttons with negative behaviors because to a kid, even negative attention is better that no attention at all. This doesn't mean you have to be at your child’s side 24-7 – just taking a few minutes a day to spend one-on-one with your child, distraction-free and doing something they want to do, will reap immense rewards in their behavior.
Take 10 minutes out of your day. Twice a day is best. Have a jar full of activities they created that they LOVE to do with you. (Turn off your tv, cell phone, computer etc) Put a timer on even if your worried you'll go over and burn dinner.
Examples of activities for your "1 on 1 Jar of Fun!"
-Read a favourite book or poem
-Act out a poem or play
-Bake something
-Build a fort
-Sing songs
-Pretend play
-Build race track out of blocks
-Play dress up dollies
-Play with magnets/marbles 
-Play cards/board game together
-Take pictures of their toys and animals
-Outdoor games/sports
-Indoor balloon volleyball
-Hide and seek
-Teach them something you love to do
-Garden/plant flowers
-Create a treasure hunt
-Play simon says (copy me, copy you)
-Have a dance session
-Collage or paper art crafting
-Listen to them tell you stories or ask them how they feel about stuff
-Tell jokes (get a joke book)
-Do Busy Bag games (search pinterest)
-Water play outside
-Bathtime and play with toys
-Let them decide what is fun time with you.
When you spend 1 on 1 with your child positively and proactively, your kids will become more cooperative and less likely to seek out attention in negative ways. Life is busy for everyone, and finding extra time in the day may be daunting at first, but think of this as an investment in your relationship with your children and in improving their behavior. When it comes to knowing how to discipline your child, giving them what they need to avoid poor behaviors in the first place can have a great impact.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • First, tell your child, “We are going to have special time together.” Let them know when to expect it. (After you’ve finished a few chores, after school, or dinner, or perhaps at baby siblings nap time etc.)
  • Ask, “What are some things you would like to do for our special time here at home?” Give them some choices if they cannot think of anything. Write them down or get pic's off the internet and put them in a jar. Decorate the jar together!
  • Tell them when you will have the next special time. Buy a timer.
  • Tell them when you are having the special time. “This is my special time with you, {insert child name}.” Say something positive like, “I like doing things with you.”
  • Warn them before the time is up and say… “Soon it is going to be baby’s turn ….or Mommies turn.”
  • Tell them when the next special time will be. Remind them to be thinking about what they would like to do.
  • Later, remind them about the special time you had together, and that another special time is coming.
  • Do not take special time away as punishment for behavior earlier in the day. Being able to count on special time with you provides them support and sense of unconditional love and connection.

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