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:

azcentral.com

Letting kids walk home alone is child neglect - or good parenting?
azcentral.com
Worry is a requisite of parenting. All parents struggle with just how much freedom to afford their children and when. The author of the book had let her 9-year-old ride the subway by himself. She wrote about his successful trek in the "New York Sun ...

and more »


Hollywood Life

Chris Brown: The Big Star Secretly Giving Him Parenting Advice
Hollywood Life
Now that the R&B singer has been thrown into parenting, he needs all of the help he can get — especially after losing his girl, Karrueche Tran, 26, over the bombshell revelation. Thankfully, an experienced father like Diddy is just the guy he should ...
Chris Brown's baby name revealed — and it's a doozySheKnows.com

all 611 news articles »


WCVB Boston

Closed parenting center to pay thousands to affected customers
WCVB Boston
"When Isis Parenting went out of business, it left many new and expecting parents without the prenatal and parenting courses they paid for and were depending on. We are pleased that this settlement will provide restitution to these consumers." Isis ...
Defunct parenting company Isis to pay $260G fine to AG's officeBoston Herald
​Isis Parenting to pay $260k to customers, state over unfair business allegationsBoston Business Journal (blog)
Isis Parenting agrees to $260000 in refunds and other penaltiesBoston Globe (subscription)
Wicked Local Arlington
all 7 news articles »


The American Conservative

Is “Free-Range Parenting” Bad?
The American Conservative
The Meitivs' case has produced strong reactions about what constitutes responsible parenting, how safe children really are and whether the government overstepped its role. The Meitivs, both scientists by training, embrace a “free-range” philosophy of ...
Maryland free-range parenting now becomes a game of chickenDallas Morning News (blog)
Free-range parenting couple found responsible for 'unsubstantiated' child neglectW*USA 9
Download: Couple who let kids walk alone found responsible for neglectfox8.com
Washington Post -TVNZ -New York Times (blog)
all 189 news articles »


The Elkhart Truth

CAPS offering parenting classes in April in Goshen and Elkhart
The Elkhart Truth
ELKHART — Child and Parent Services is offering positive parenting classes this spring in Goshen and Elkhart. Two 10-week parenting classes are planned. The Goshen class will be in English or in Spanish from 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays from April 13 to June ...



TechRepublic

Ubiquitous screens pose new parenting challenges in the 21st century
TechRepublic
Frankly, asking about the "right way" to balance technology in the lives of children is probably one of the most ill-advised things you can do online. When it comes to parenting, people have strong opinions that stem from culture, religion, personal ...



Parenting Media Association Awards Top Honors to Kids VT
vtdigger.org
BURLINGTON, Vt. – For the fourth year in a row, Kids VT, Vermont's free monthly parenting magazine, took home top prizes in the annual Parenting Media Association's Design and Editorial Awards Competition, which recognizes excellence in journalism, ...



13newsnow.com

CHKD Parenting: The importance of reading
13newsnow.com
CHKD Parenting: The importance of reading. It's never too soon to start reading to your child - even before the baby is born. Loading… Post to Facebook. CHKD Parenting: The importance of reading It's never too soon to start reading to your child ...



Today.com

The TODAY Parenting Team community: What it is, and why you should join
Today.com
Do you remember how you felt when you walked out of the hospital (or birthing center) with your first baby? If you're anything like me, it was a mix of massive joy, nervousness and incredulity: “You mean you're really letting me take this tiny little ...



Today.com

Join the TODAY Parenting Team! We're all in this together
Today.com
Please share your best advice, toughest questions and cutest photos to our first challenge: What do you wish you'd known before you had your baby? Read this story here. Tags: Moments that Matter,; TODAY Parenting Team,; Moments that Matter. share.
Exec Has a Baby, Realizes How Badly She Mistreated Moms at WorkBabble
'Sorry to all the mums I worked with'NEWS.com.au
Female company president apologizes to all the mothers she dissedAlbany Times Union (blog)

all 47 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.