Posts tagged under Behaviour. Show all posts.
“Say you’re sorry!” you demand of your angry five-year old who has intentionally pulled his sister’s hair. He stands in silence.
You demand an apology again. He manages an unapologetic “Soooory.”
“No, say it like you mean it,” you say.
He follows up with a more convincing apology, but not nearly as remorseful as you would have liked. You let it go.
What are the chances of your son feeling such remorse that he will not pull his sister’s hair again? What are the chances of his taking the initiative to say sorry the next time it happens? What are the chances of his going off to play having learnt a lesson? I’d say pretty slim to none. Saying “I’m sorry” as a result of having been told to do so, is merely an act of compliance. It does not teach empathy, remorse or encourage positive behaviour.
So, what’s the alternative?
Try this: lower your body so that you are eye to eye with your child and say something like “Pulling hair hurts.” Then, wrap your arms around the child whose hair has been pulled and comfort that child. Once you’ve comforted the ‘victim,’ turn to the ‘aggressor’ and say, “Did pulling your sister’s hair help you get what you needed?” By handling the situation in this fashion, you are allowing your child to see you displaying empathy towards the ‘victim’ and helping your child learn to explore different options.
You may also want to talk about a logical consequence if your child were to choose not to consider other options. You may say something like “I know that you are capable of choosing other options in the future, but if you don’t, then we need to consider what the consequences of your aggressive behaviour will be.”
Logical consequences (which must be relatable to the aggressive behaviour) may include: your child having to play alone for a period of time (following the incident) or of having to re-enact what happened prior to the hair pulling so that he can be helped to come up with different options for handling his frustration or anger.
This type of intervention may take a little longer than demanding and getting a hasty apology, but will likely result in better long-term behaviour and a more positive relationship between you and your child.
How can I tell if I’m experiencing Postpartum Depression?
There are a number of ways to differentiate between Postpartum Blues, (mild feelings of depression and anxiety that typically appear within the first one-to-two weeks of giving birth) and Postpartum Depression (more severe and persistent feelings of depression and anxiety that typically show up anytime from a few weeks to two years after the birth of a baby).
(Note: Postpartum Blues used to be called “Baby Blues”, but health care providers are increasingly using the term “ Postpartum Blues” to steer clear of any implication that baby is to blame for how mom is feeling.)
Here is where to start:
It is important to seek treatment, because if left untreated, Postpartum Depression can lead to difficulties in bonding or caring for your baby. That, in turn, can lead to delays in your baby’s development. It can also put major stress on your relationship with your partner. The sooner you recognize the symptoms of Postpartum Depression in yourself and reach out for help, the sooner things can start to get better.
Why do we keep having the same arguments over and over again?
Even if the daily fight (about mealtime, bedtime, bath or TV) is painful, at least we know how it turns out.
We step onto the dance floor, invite our child to dance, “Time for a bath okay?” and he does his move, “I hate baths…” and then, the tantrum. Your turn: drag him to the tub or talk about it for 10 minutes before giving in. Same dance every night. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are four tips on staying off the ‘dance floor’.
In either case, give your child a new script to work with and know what you will say to cue him and tell him what his lines are too. So the conversation looks more like this:
Son: “The timer means I have to get in the bath and then we can read books after I dry off.”
Or you: “The timer is ringing—what does that mean?”
The important thing is to immediately move into the new plan rather than worry if the dialogue has gone exactly as planned—ACT don’t YAK!
It is much easier to respond with respect when we know exactly what is expected, as well as how we will respond when it works and when it doesn’t.
We just experienced Bullying Awareness Week last week, and while I applaud the attention being paid to bullying prevention, I sure wish it was a not confined to one week or one simple school assembly saying “bullying is wrong”. That ain’t gonna cut the mustard.
To fully appreciate the complexity of the social conditions that contribute to bullying, and to tackle it head on, we have to make huge changes as a society—not only on the individual and family levels, but also at the school and community levels. In fact, all our social institutions and all our human relationships must shift their thinking to loving kindness and compassion in a new way. I recommend people check out the awesome work being done by Raffi at childhonouring.org [http://childhonouring.org/] to learn more about how to make systemic changes to humanity that will create lasting change.
I know that may leave you feeling a bit lost at what to do in the moment when your child arrives home with tear-stained eyes, so here are some immediate tips for those who must make a swift plan of action right now.
When You Learn Your Child is Being Bullied
Anti-Bullying Tactics You Can Teach Your Child
Hopefully, this will nip the attacks in the bud. It’s not the only solution, and if things continue, or worsen quickly, there are more levels of intervention to try. Bullying is so prevalent that every child should at least know these protective tactics so they feel armed to deal with problems should they arise.
Now parents—join your Parent Council and bring your own commitment to making all schools a loving, safe, inclusive environment. It’s a child’s right (both the bully and the bullied) to feel safe and loved everywhere they go.
Eat… sit… and be merry.
Yes, it’s that time of year when we gather around the table and enjoy holiday dinner with our extended family. Joy right? Ahh, not so much, especially if you are stressed about your uncouth seven year-old son’s behaviour. Will he break bread or break wind, or worse, toss bread? Or pout about hating his gravy touching his peas. Shouting “Where are your manners?” is just as much a part of the festive meal as the cranberry sauce.
We forget our children have substandard table manners until they’re under scrutiny of company and extended family. Suddenly we think that a stern look or a quiet reminder is somehow going to snap them into shape like yet another Christmas miracle.
We have to invest some time BEFORE the holidays to prepare our kids for the ways we expect them to behave when we have company. Here is my quickie table manners course:
Alyson’s Table Manners Bootcamp
Create a list of misbehaviours (privately) that you specifically want to parent around and tackle them NOW. Three common ones and their solutions are:
If your children don’t use their manners, you can excuse them from the table and invite them to come back when they do want to use their manners. Or you can excuse yourself and choose to eat in the kitchen where you don’t have to watch poor table manners.
Try some of these in the weeks to come BEFORE the big holiday feast with family. And when in doubt, you can always have the kids and cousins eat at a card table in the basement!
In the movies, holidays are about love, giving, kindness and caring. In the world of real life parenting, that isn’t always the case. No matter what’s in your child’s specially-wrapped package, her sister’s present will be better. Santa leaves way more presents at your neighbour’s house, of course, and while the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, the envy seems greener right in your own home.
Many siblings spend their lives comparing themselves to each other, vying for Mom and Dad’s attention. When it comes to gifts, the comparisons continue. Rather than hoping that jealousy won’t happen, we can let our kids know that it just might show up during the holidays, when shopping at the mall or when a playmate gets the exact toy they were hoping for.
With young children, the old ‘distract and re-direct’ move may be your best bet. However, if your kids have graduated to the “You-can’t-fool-me-with-that” stage, you need a new plan. Read stories about jealousy (such as When I Feel Jealous by Cornelia Spelman) so that your kids can tell you if and when they’re feeling jealous, and need some help. Acknowledge the feeling rather than telling them not to feel jealous.
It may seem like buying each child a matching gift or distracting one child while the other is opening presents would be the best way to get kids past jealousy. The truth is, it’s protecting them from ever experiencing the emotion AND from the opportunity to learn how to deal with it. If jealousy appears the moments the gifts are opened, try these scripts:
Whether across the city or the globe, change can be scary for adults and children. These tips will set your family up for success.