Positive Parenting Tips!

by Christine Hodge

When your child is acting out oftentimes it is her way to get your attention. If you can figure out how to give her attention for behavior you want to see you may be surprised at the result.

1. Ten minutes each day. Give your child 10 minutes of your undivided time to play how she wants, with what she wants. Every day. Set a timer, put your phone down, and follow her lead as you play.

2. Notice the good. Catch him doing the right thing. Even if it’s tiny! “You came to the dinner table the first time I called and I noticed that. Thank you!” Be specific with your praise. It needs to be sincere. A "good job" doesn't go nearly as far as "good job finishing your homework."

3. Be clear in your expectations. We often say things like “be a good listener.” Think about it-what does that mean to a young child? Try being specific: “Can you pick up your shoes and put them in your room?”

4. Say what you want not what you don’t want. Instead of  “Don’t run in the house!” try “Walk while you’re inside please!”

5. Don’t forget to breathe. When you are at your wit’s end and feel that you are ready to scream--take a breath. And then another. And a third if you need to. Setting this example visibly for your child may encourage him to breathe too. Breathing can have a calming and relaxing effect. This can put things back into perspective and help everyone problem solve.

6. Don’t forget to have a sense of humor! If your 2 year old is screaming at you because she wants “the blue bowl, No! Not that blue bowl! The other blue bowl!” that’s really kind of funny. I know it doesn’t seem like it in the moment but if you think about it afterward it’s pretty funny. And it’s also funny that she gets you just as upset about the blue bowl as she is. Every parent at one point or another has been there - try to find the ability to chuckle.

Adapted by Christine Hodge from Positive Solutions Parent Modules



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