The holidays are almost upon us, and whether you’re planning on hosting a gathering at your home this year or packing up the kids and visiting friends and family, you’re probably going to find yourself interacting with kids that aren’t your own. You may even find yourself in a situation where you’re asking, ‘Is it OK to discipline other people’s kids?’ While this varies by situation, here are three cases in which you can definitely step in and encourage a new behaviour.
- When the child is in your care (at your house, in your car, etc.)
- When the child is hurting you or your child
- When the child might hurt him/herself and there is no one around to stop it.
So how do we do it?
- When you have children coming to your house or they are in your care, we encourage you to set the expectations and consequences as soon as they arrive. Be sure to include lots of ‘do’ language, highlighting what the kids can do rather than what they can’t do.
When another child is harming your child, you can definitely step in, especially if the other parent is not. Again, use ‘I’ language. Rather than saying, ‘You pushed my kid, you better leave him alone!’ you can say, ‘I see you touching Jack. If you need him to move, please use your words and keep your hands to yourself.’
If you see a child who will hurt herself, someone else, or something and no other parent is there, you can certainly step in. Again describe what you see and then suggest an alternative. You might also ask, ‘What do you need to be doing right now?’ or ‘How can I help you to stay safe?’
- When you see misbehaviour, use ‘I’ language and apply the consequence. ‘I see people throwing cars. Cars drive on the floor. When you can show me how to use the cars properly, you can try again.’
- You may need to redirect behaviour and/or include the kids in a problem solving process so that they can figure out how to work together.
Finally, the root word of discipline is ‘disciple’. It is about teaching proper behaviour, not about punishing or getting revenge. This is essential to keep in mind, especially when another child is hurting your child.
Image of stress from Shutterstock.
Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca
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The holiday season is fast approaching, which means that busy moms have tons of groceries, gifts and supplies to buy in preparation for all that celebrating. But preparing for a season that is so joyful shouldn’t be overwhelming. Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful—with a little careful planning, and these 10 handy tips, the biggest shopping spree of the year can be manageable, efficient and stress-free.
- It’s important to make a to-do list, but it’s just as important to assign a date and a time to take care of each item on that list. Otherwise, your to-do list will become a wish list, and you might end up doing everything at the last minute (which isn’t exactly stress-free).
- When you make your to-do list, remember to schedule enough time to actually do everything. Always schedule more time than you think it will take—the holidays mean there’s more traffic than usual, parking is limited and that line at the cashiers is a lot longer.
- Plan your gift buying budget and stick to it. It will keep your purchases focused—in number, size, and price.
- If you have to do your shopping in various areas of the city, make sure your shopping route is productive and efficient. Plan out what stores you will visit—and what order you will visit them in—before you leave the house.
- Reduce the number of shopping trips you have to make by shopping at a mall with a large number of stores. The more gifts you can purchase in one trip, the better. You might even want to go so far as to look at a map of the mall in advance to plan the most efficient shopping route.
- Don’t overbook yourself. Being over-scheduled will wear you out and increase your chances of getting sick and going into the holiday season feeling grumpy. When it comes to Christmas parties and invitations, remember that declining politely is an option. Suggest an alternate date for a visit, or simply say that your schedule is full.
- Set proper boundaries, especially when it comes to gift giving. High expectations create unnecessary stress. Set price limits and discuss them with family.
- Go for a walk, take a nap, read a good book, take a bubble bath or get a pedicure—because you need to refresh and recharge so that you can be your best when the holidays come. You’ll want to be able to fully enjoy the benefits of all your hard work. Schedule those ‘me days’ into your to-do list. Make it official!
Image Credit: Image of Shopping from Shutterstock.
Cindy is the Director of Development and Marketing for the Professional Organizers in Canada. POC is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada.Currently representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC’s mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network and exchange resources. For more information, please visit organizersincanada.com