Is Your Behavioural Change Strategy Working?
'How can I start getting my children to help out at home?'
Many parent ask me this question. My answer is simple - "It depends!"
Achieving a behavioural change in children is dependent on their age and stage of development, their temperament and attitude, and how set in their ways they are.
Let's look further at the above helping at home scenario. If the children are four years of age or younger then encouraging them to contribute to their family's well-being is relatively easy. Most children want to help at home in the early years so it is a matter of parents providing opportunities for them to help and also showing them how they can assist in positive ways. Helping out and independence are habit-forming so the message for parents is start early and hang in there. Young children can help set and clear away meal areas, clear away their toys and help make their beds. Don't get too fussed about the quality of their endeavours. They wear L-plates in the early years and the prime lesson for them is that they help their family and contribute to their own well-being.
Older children who may have done very little to help can be tough nuts to crack. How do you get a ten year old to help out if he or she has barely lifted a finger to assist in the previous decade? Basically, there are two methods parents can use to get some change in children when habits are entrenched. Either you try to achieve major change straight away or you work away at the margins to affect change.
A parent trying to promote independence in a child can go 'cold turkey' and insist that they get themselves up in the morning, make their own lunch, empty the dishwasher and do forth. This is a major change. Parents who take this approach frequently offer rewards such as pocket money or provision of special treats in exchange for help, however rewarders and bribers should be wary. Any parent offering rewards in exchange for help will need deep pockets as today's jellybeans soon becomes an electronic toy or something equally expensive. Besides they are teaching children to think 'what's in this for ME, rather than WE.' Such parents may be replacing one habit (dependence) with another (self-centredness). !!. I suggest that parental insistence that their children help backed up by sincere and genuine appreciation when they have done the right thing are strong motivators for most kids.
Alternatively, parents can work at the margins and get their children to help little by little. For instance, packing their own lunch may precede making it. Unpacking the cutlery may precede emptying the whole dishwasher. Cleaning ten toys away may precede cleaning the whole room if they have never done it before. Using this method the helping habits sneaks up on children and takes them by surprise.
Either approach is legitimate however sometimes when parents meet with resistance from children or change seems so overwhelming it is better to play around at the margins and go for small changes. We often use the same principle to put some order in our lives when everything seems chaotic. Sometimes just cleaning the clutter away in a bedroom or tidying a desk can help us feel in control and a little clearer when life seems totally disorganised.
Working away at the margins is a strategy many parents have used successfully when they want to get some behavioural change happening at home. Even if children seem totally out of control look for small areas where you achieve some change. Maybe start with them using better manners when they talk with you or insisting they sit at the meal table until everyone has finished. Often small successes bring monumental improvements. Positive change tends to have a snowball affect. Like a snowball rolling down a slope it gathers momentum and increases in size very rapidly.
So what is your usual change strategy? If you get overwhelmed and don't know where to start then try starting small and working away at the margins. Start where you know you can experience some success and the change will accelerate.
Michael Grose is a popular parenting educator and parent coach. He is the director of Parent Coaching Australia, the author of six books for parents and a popular presenter who speaks to audiences in Australian Singapore and the USA. For free courses and resources to help you raise happy kids and resilient teenagers visit http://www.parentingideas.com.au
Breastfeed a Toddler - Why?
Is your baby approaching his or her first birthday and you're considering weaning?The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that "breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired."If you and your baby are still enjoying the nursing experience, why not take a look at some of the advantages of nursing beyond that first year?1) Immunological BenefitsContrary to popular belief, mother's milk does not have an expiration date!Your baby continues to receive all the benefits of human milk for as long as he is nursing.
How To Develop Your Babys Brain
Have you ever wondered why toys for babies tend to have so many bells, whistles and lights? Or why they have so many different textures, and materials and colors? It's almost as if we want to provide young babies with a whole world of stimulation and we can't quite get it to them fast enough.Play gyms or activity gyms as they are sometimes called tend to be a firm favorite with babies from newborn up to about 12 months.
Helping Your Kid's Grow a Garden
Start some gardening traditions with your kids. Give them their own garden patch and a spot to dig.
If your child is being bullied - 20 top tips for parents
Keith is now in the fourth grade and he dislikes school. For a fourthgrader, this does not sound right.
Twins - Double The Trouble Or Double The Pleasure? Both!
If You're Having Twins..
How A Home Water Filter Can Reduce Your Child's Risk Of Learning Disabilities
Lead is one of the most dangerous toxins a person can be exposed to in his lifetime. Besides damage from radioactive or nuclear chemicals, significant exposure to lead can cause some of the most severe and even fatal health effects possible.
Moms - Get More Energy Now
Let's be honest! When it comes to parenting, men expect their wives or partners to do the lion's share.There are signs that we're moving toward a more enlightened age in which ALL parents play their part.
So You Want to Adopt?
Many reasons will cause some people to feel the need to adopt a child. Sometimes it is because they have exhausted every other means of having children.
ParentingYour Teenager: Dont Buy the I Dont Know and I Dont Care Attitude
"I don't know and I don't care."I've heard those words more than a few times in my office.
Does Your Child Need A Bedtime Routine? - Yes!
Do you struggle to get your child to bed at night? We sure did with our daughter. She would refuse to go to sleep in her bed and wanted to hang out with us until we were ready for bed and of course then she would want to sleep in Mama's and Daddy's bed.
The Ten Most Common Poisons Among Kids
For parents, keeping our kids safe is a constant top priority. But even with the best intentions it's possible to overlook some potentially harmful household poisons.
How To Teach Your Children Self-Reliance and Potential
Self-reliance and potential are two very important values that I'd highly recommend parents teach their children.Self-reliance refer to the acceptance of responsibility for and the consequence of one's own actions and performance.
Parenting Your Teenager: 7 Tips for Back to School Success
Blink. That's all we did, blink, and summer is ending and a new school year is beginning.
Toilet Terrors And Other Potty Training Fears
Potty training fears, often called toilet terrors, are common among toddlers and small children. Look at things from your child's perspective.
The Ten Things That Successful Parents Do
1. They are leaders as well as parents.
Back to School Care Packages!
I am crying tears of joy mixed with great sadness as my oldest daughter prepares for her freshman year of college at the University of Maryland in the fall. She has already told me I am to send care packages.
Educational Toys And Childrens Books - A Must For Optimal Childhood Development
The brightly colored plastic mobile dangles lazily overhead in the infant's crib. The baby coos as its tiny arms swing a rattle back and forth.
Nights by a Pinocchio Lamp
Sitting by her Pinocchio lamp, she smiled at me as her tiny shadow puppet danced on the bedroom wall. "A bunny!" she giggled with all the jubilance of a four-year old.
Breastfeeding, Its My Right
My name is Duncan and I'm 2 years old. I want to thank my Mommy and Daddy for choosing breastmilk as my only food for my first six months.
New Baby - Relax and Become a Yummy Mummy
Lets face it becoming a mum is a bit of a shock at first, to say the least. Sleepless nights and eventful days make it a struggle to get a shower and wash your hair in the morning, never mind applying make up and fiddling with volume brushes and hairdryers.
|Article List | Index | Site Map|
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 CanadaSEEK.com - All Rights Reserved.