One of the biggest challenges for any parent is guiding the behaviour of your children. The goal should be to create an environment where children can develop social skills and gain some understanding about what constitutes acceptable behaviour.
How to respond to inappropriate behaviour also remains one of the most difficult problems in childcare. Reprimanding your child incorrectly might be ineffective or even detrimental to their development. Here are some best practices to help you in guiding the behaviour of your children.
One key element for guiding a child’s behaviour is to create a calm, caring and communicative environment. Set the tone for all interaction by being your best self. Be polite and patient with your children and show them the respect that you want to offer in return.
Also make sure you understand how much the environment in which they are growing up will shape them. Are they in a household with a blaring television and parents who shout at each other for attention? They will mimic the behaviour of the parents and before long your young child is shouting for attention.
Here are some best practices for encouraging positive social interaction between your child and other people.
Interact with your child individually on a regular basis. Children crave individual attention, so make time to work with them one on one. Read a book or have a conversation with your child. This greatly develops their social skills.
Role play appropriate behaviours. To help your child understand what is expected of them, they may need to see an example. Role play specific scenarios like what to do when someone wants to use their toy.
Communicate with your child respectfully. Talk your child in a way that you want them to talk to others. Use please and thank you when asking them for things. Ask for their permission to do certain things. “Can I use your toy?”
Use very specific positive feedback to modify social interaction. For example: “I like the way you shared your toy with your friend today”
Create a short list of specific rules. The rules can include some common problems for young children like toy sharing and showing respect for others. Post these rules in their play space.
When guiding the behaviour of your children, stopping inappropriate behaviours is crucial.
Set realistic expectations. If your child is very young, don’t expect them to understand social norms immediately. They will need gentle reminders of acceptable behaviour and you should ask them to reflect on their behaviour. “How do you think hitting your friend made them feel?”
Look for the source of inappropriate behaviours. A child may have a tantrum or act aggressively if they are frustrated. Try to spot the source of their frustration early and help rectify the problem for them.
Make tasks simple. If you are trying to enforce a new behaviour in a child, make the steps to achieving that behaviour simple. A big job like putting their toys away can be difficult when there are distractions, so break it up into small tasks.
Be calm, clear and consistent. Once you have decided on rules and appropriate behaviour, maintain consistency. If a rule is broken, always stay calm and your child will begin to mirror your behaviour. Remember your child is still learning what words mean, so keep your language very clear and easy to understand.
Wait until they are listening. The best time to explain appropriate behaviour to a child is when they are calm and attentive.
Be logical and rational when correcting a child. Instead of barking a command like “stop yelling” at your child, try “Please talk quietly so I can understand you”. If your child wants to be understood, they will stop yelling.
One way to reinforce good behaviours is to provide a regular daily schedule so children understand what is expected of them. If they play with their toys in the morning, have a regular toy cleanup session afterwards. Once they see what is expected they will adopt the new behaviours. Some best practices for your daily schedules:
Give your children large blocks of uninterrupted play time to express themselves and use some energy
Offer your child choices. Keeping a regular schedule doesn’t mean ‘exactly’ the same thing every day. Think of new ways for your child to have fun and learn more about the world.
Craft daily schedules around your child’s interests. You might discover your child enjoys fingerprinting more than kicking a soccer ball. Modify your schedule to reflect what they want to do.
Tell your child when activities are over. If you get into the habit of segmenting activities, make sure your child understands what is happening next.
Prepare materials before the child begins. If you want to spend half an hour drawing with your child, make sure everything is ready to go before hand. That way you can focus your attention on them instead of looking for items the activity requires.
Some best practices to ensure your child has a play space which helps them learn new behaviours while enjoying themselves:
Have plenty of toys, but avoid clutter. Have separate areas for each activity and keep the space well organised so a child can focus on what they are doing or what you are saying.
Use simple items that children can experiment with. Cardboard rolls, wooden boxes, fabric and clay are all fantastic for encouraging children to use their imagination.
Tone down visuals and watch noise levels. A play area should be exciting, but not so filled with visuals that a child can’t focus. Also be careful with noise levels, turn off background noise like televisions and music if you need you child to focus on a creative endeavour or behavioural issue.
Eventually your child will have to solve problems on their own, without your help. Developing this capability takes time, but is essential. It can be done by exhibiting certain patterns yourself when you resolve conflicts. By using these best practices, your child will pick up skills to help them eventually resolve their own conflicts.
Acknowledge each person’s feelings in a conflict. If your child is angry, tell them you understand their feelings and empathise with them
Talk about the problem. When there is an issue, talk about why it has happened and get to the root of the problem
Specifically identify the problem. After listening to both sides, state the problem clearly. “So you both want to play with the toy”.
Create a solution with the help of the children involved. Ask them what they think is fair to get them involved in solution-making. “Do you think we could share the toy somehow?”
Get them to choose the solution. If there are multiple solutions on offer, ask the children which one they prefer.
Follow up on their solution. Did it work? If it didn’t, revise it slightly with the help of the children.
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
MedCells is the official distributor of Cells4Life in the Middle East. We aim to educate parents about the importance of saving their newborn baby’s cord blood and provide them with professional stem cell storage services.
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