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

Letter: Force Arizona parents to take classes
azcentral.com
Given the only threshold to becoming parents is having a penis and a vagina, I suggest that the Legislature pass a law mandating parenting classes once the little ones have arrived. Something needs to be done. — Stuart Epstein, Scottsdale. Read or ...



Jillian Michaels takes on farm life, parenting in new show
Redding Record Searchlight
Her kids, a 3-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, appear along with Michaels' adorable work husband, business partner Giancarlo Chersich, and others in her entourage. Also caught on camera is Michaels' unique parenting style, including the moment ...



Evening Observer

CASAC offers free parenting program
Evening Observer
JAMESTOWN - It is next to impossible to be good at something without practice, so why not practice your parenting skills? No matter how old your child is, it is never too late to learn effective parenting techniques. One of the benefits of parenting ...

and more »


Washington Post

Never say never: The role of compromising in parenting
Washington Post
I used to feel guilty about compromising my beliefs, but what looked like parenting failures were actually a form of flexibility, an important factor in raising happy children. Before I had kids I was certain my children were never going to watch ...



XXLMAG.COM

Ciara Claims Future Has Terrible Parenting Skills in Emails Leading Up to Lawsuit
XXLMAG.COM
Ciara's lawyers are asking the rapper to retract the statement and saying, “[Ciara] has serious concerns about [Future's] parenting skills and the child's safety while in his care.” The lawyer uses examples of the baby being returned reeking of weed ...
Ciara SLAMS Future's Parenting Skills In Explosive Email Thread -- Says He Returns Their Kid's Clothes Smelling Like ...PerezHilton.com

all 62 news articles »


Asheville Citizen-Times

When parents disagree on parenting
Asheville Citizen-Times
As parents with unique backgrounds, ideas and sensibilities, butting heads from time to time is bound to be inevitable. But disagreeing about parenting approaches doesn't have to spell disaster. Rather than being a problem, different parenting styles ...



moviepilot.com

Will Smith Admit's His Parenting Technique 'May Have Been A Mistake.' Well, Duh.
moviepilot.com
From stopping time and building pyramids to Prana energy and predicting the future, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith's children are no strangers to spaffing out the most demented of shit and calling it 'creative freedom.' And, whilst I'm all for creative ...
Will Smith Admits To Parenting Mistakes With Willow And JadenThe Inquisitr
Will Smith on parenting Jaden and Willow: We may have gone too farFox News
Will Smith Jokes About His Hands-Off Parenting of Jaden and Willow: 'We May Have Gone Too Far'People Magazine
Vanity Fair -AceShowbiz
all 122 news articles »


SFGate

Dear Abby: Parenting at ex's house is an issue for new wife
SFGate
Dear Abby: I am a divorced father who has recently remarried. I have parenting time with my children one weeknight and every other weekend. My children have told me that during the week they prefer doing their homework at their mother's home. They say ...
Parenting at ex's house is an issue for new wifeSTLtoday.com

all 34 news articles »


Romper

What I Thought Attachment Parenting Would Be Like Vs. What It's Actually Like
Romper
I can honestly say that if someone had asked me five years ago what type of parenting style I would adopt once I had children, it would most definitely not have been attachment parenting. Granted, I knew very little about what was involved, but I ...

and more »


South Bay Parenting: Trust me, the Hermosa Beach dodgeball ban is a good thing
The Daily Breeze
In one of my earliest schoolyard memories, I'm standing on one side of the dodgeball court, struggling to stay one step ahead of the opposing team's volley, when I realize — with horror — that I'm the only one left on my team. Even worse, among those ...


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.