Here are 3 tips from The Northern Centre for helping to improve behaviour in children:
1. Reduce The Talk, Reduce The Noise
As parents we all want our children to listen to us. We want our children to hear our instructions. But most parents, including myself, talk too much to our children, giving them a list of instructions that is overwhelming for a child. Ensure you have your child’s attention and give one instruction at a time such as “unpack your school bag”, helps your child hear and carry out the task. Once that is completed tell your child the next task, such as “put your dirty clothes in the basket”. Reducing the talk when issuing instructions helps to reduce ‘noise’ in a child’s brain and it will reduce the conflict between yourself and your child.
2. Pick Your Battles
It’s tempting for parents to tell their child to “stop doing this or that” or issue a list of “no’s”. Decide on the importance of the behaviour and whether it is something you want changed now. Bouncing a ball in the house may be a small irritation to some parents and could be ignored. If your child is yelling, though, is this a behaviour you want your child to stop or could you ignore it? So consider which behaviours you could ignore from your child and which you want stopped. In future posts, this will be discussed further.
3. Tune Into Your Child’s World
It is not unusual for a child to have a tantrum. Your child may be hungry, thirsty or tired. Carry snacks and water when you are out and about. For those times when your child is either upset or pleased about an event in their life, use words and statements to reflect back to your child how they may feel – “You seem upset”, “It sounds like you were proud of that achievement” or “You’re worried how it will go” are some reflective statements showing the child that you have an understanding of their world. Listening with empathy, being calm and using 4 – 5 reflective statements back to your child is key to lowering the intense feelings which a child displays. Try it next time on your child. Try it on your partner and friends too. Their reaction may surprise you.
The Northern Centre offers a range of parenting programs that provide parents with the extra skills needed to help with raising their families. Government funding means many of the programs are delivered at no cost. They can also offer childcare for the duration of the program (booking essential). For more information on the courses offered by The Northern Centre you can contact them at:
Phone: 9334 0111
Hours: Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri 8.30am – 4.30pm, Thu 8.30am – 7.30pm