Parenting Information

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

  


MORE RESOURCES:

How parenting programs change lives: two Spanish-speaking parents share ...
Chalkbeat Colorado
How parenting programs change lives: two Spanish-speaking parents share their experience. by Lisa Guthery on April 15, 2014. WHAT IS FIRST PERSON? In the First Person section, we feature informed perspectives from readers who have firsthand ...



Buncombe implements Positive Parenting Program
Asheville Citizen-Times
“The immediate result is to have better parenting practices … but the long term result is clearly better child mental health,” said Deanna LaMotte, program coordinator for Triple P in Buncombe County. Buncombe County Health and Human Services was ...



Parenting Is the New Religion
Huffington Post
The parenting debate these days is roughly where religion was in the Middle Ages. You won't find a Huffington Post article titled "How The Jews Are Setting Us Up For Failure" or "Red Wine: The Blood Of Christ, For Realsies?" And thank goodness for that.



Six apps that might make parenting easier
USA TODAY
Parents wear a lot of hats when it comes to their kids, including being the timekeeper, the money giver and the behavior police. Do you have a child who is always up before everyone else? There's an app for that. How about keeping track of multiple ...



TechSpot

Canada's tax agency and UK parenting site first confirmed victims of Heartbleed
khon2.com
Mumsnet is a popular parenting network that says they generate over 60 million page views and over 10 million visits per month. Mumsnet patched their OpenSSL installation on Thursday, April 10. According to the BBC, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts ...
Canada's tax agency and UK parenting site Mumsnet are the first confirmed ...TechSpot
Parenting website Mumsnet and Canadian tax authority hit by Heartbleed hackersThe Next Web
'Heartbleed' hits 1.5 million users of UK parenting websiteGMA News

all 1,419 news articles »


Times of India

Ask Philip: Parenting is hands-on, but punishment shouldn't be
Stratford Star
Is spanking a child okay? My father and I just had an argument about it when my son was behaving badly during my parents' visit and I put him in a time-out. My father thinks I'm too politically correct and says that since the infrequent spankings I ...
Kids misbehave within ten minutes of spankingTimes of India
Real-time audio of corporal punishment shows kids misbehave within 10 ...Medical Xpress

all 10 news articles »


WJAC Johnstown

Straight Talk Parenting series continues with student's performance
WJAC Johnstown
The event called body language featured students from the delta program and State College High School which is featuring the Straight Talk Parenting series. Students took to the stage to address depression, anxiety and social issues that can complicate ...



New York Times (blog)

Parenting the Non-Girlie Girl
New York Times (blog)
Private Lives: Personal essays on the news of the world and the news of our lives. There are many possible explanations for why my 5-year-old daughter has yet again asked if she can change her name to Sam. Sam can also be a girl's name, I explain ...

and more »


Steamboat Pilot & Today

Parenting help is always nearby
The Register-Guard
Despite old patterns, this mother wanted to do a better job of parenting than she had experienced. By reaching out for help and information, she avoided being an abusive parent, and a young child was protected from the cycle of generational abuse.
Thoughtful Parenting: Forming healthy digital habitsSteamboat Pilot & Today

all 3 news articles »


Toronto Star

2 Tots, a Sailboat and a Storm Over Parenting
New York Times
But well before they set foot on dry land, the Kaufmans have become the focus of a raging debate over responsible parenting. Some readers of their blogs have left blistering comments suggesting that the authorities should take their children away ...
Parents of sick child thank rescuers, defend their parentingLos Angeles Times
About Those Sailboat Parents…Elle

all 1,183 news articles »

Google News

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.