Sometimes when the tasks and schedules get overwhelming having a to-do list is helpful to make things feel more manageable and concentrated. When you feel overwhelmed by the behavior problems of your kids and don't know what to do first-no worries, we've protected you!
Start with these 10 tips for better behavior.
1. Invest in one-on-one time with kids daily.
By far, the best thing you can do to transmute the actions of your kids is to spend time with them each day individually, giving them the emotional connection and the positive attention they are hard-wired to require.
Children will seek attention in negative ways when they don't have positive attention and the repercussions and other forms of punishment won't work. Look for 10-15 minutes a day per child and you'll see virtually instant observable improvement.
2. Get serious about sleep.
Talk about how you feel when you're overtired— cranky, irritable, hurting your head and stomach. It's the same for babies, and the majority of infants (up to teens) get far less sleep than their developing bodies need.
Teens need more sleep than even a few younger children. Consult with your family doctor about the hours of sleep which your children need by age. If your child suffers from a sleep deficit, try moving up bedtime every few nights by 10 minutes. A well-rested kid is a well-behaved kid and can function better all day, even during school.
3. Focus on routines
Children flourish with a schedule, so carry out clearly defined schedules for the most challenging times of the day, such as after school hours, mealtimes and bedtime.
Let your children help decide how the routine goes— do we get dressed first or brushed teeth first? How can you help you get your dinner ready?
With younger children, use pictures or words to write down the order of the routine and let them decorate it, then hang it up where they will see it every day. Hang on to it then.
4. Everyone pitches in.
Kids need to realize that everyone has to contribute to making a household run smoothly for better behavior.
From babies to teenagers, they should have "family gifts" (not "chores!") that they make on a circadian basis. These avails bring your family together, edifying them life skills and work to eschew disease entitlement.
5. Encourage your kids to be problem solvers.
Time to remove the referee whistle–when parents move into the middle of a sibling dispute and decide who is at fault and dole out punishments, things get worse.
Kids see a winner and a loser as well as the need to intensify their sibling rivalry. Encourage your children to find their solution to the problem, which will help them resolve conflicts as they grow older. Do not choose sides if you need to get involved, but ask questions that will help them find a solution that all parties will feel good about.
6. Simplify family rules and be firm.
Children can be hard at holding a mess of laws straight. If it seems you've got 50 or so laws for your kids, whittle down the list to what's most important. Determine a consequence for each rule, make the rules and consequences clear to children in advance, and do not give in.
7. Send time-out to the sidelines.
Practically every parent tried to punish or modify actions by sending their child to "time-out," but most found that it was simply not working or leading to better behavior.
That's because a time-out in the corner or bedroom doesn't teach kids how to make better choices next time, and a time-out usually just escalates a power struggle. Children, the strong-willed in particular, can push back, and hard. Instead, focus on training rather than fine. Write, "Next time what can we do differently?” The do-over plays a role.
8. Just say no – to say no.
Children hourly pepper us with questions. The reaction is "no" more often than not and kids hate it.
Seek ways to say "yes" when you can. If your daughter asks in the middle of a busy weekday to go to the indoor pool, try and say, "Going to the pool sounds like so much fun. Should we go after school or Saturday tomorrow?”
9. Don’t worry, be happy.
Be the model your children want to see. Think about how your children would portray you to their peers–should they suggest that you are fun and lighthearted, or that you are tense and bossy?
Try to change your attitude, just by smiling more. It will help you stay calmer in times of stress and your kids will also notice and be more optimistic about their behavior.
10. Don’t ignore the source of misbehavior.
Misbehavior is always a symptom of a deeper issue and we can use the best methods to fix it when we can determine what triggers it. Stay calm in the face of misbehavior, and ask yourself what could cause it.
Cut through the noise by following these 10 tips and you'll start seeing your children's behavior better and start creating a happier, more secure home.