In this final part we will discuss about the parent’s side themselves and their attention to their children.
In addition to being in tune with your child’s style; you need to be aware of what your particular needs are. It will always lead to trouble if you expect lots of peace and quiet after work, but your kids need your help with homework and a ride to soccer.
If you are tense and irritable, it will most certainly translate to misbehavior in your kids. Busy schedules rarely enable parents to have a peaceful dinner hour, but perhaps you can insist on twenty minutes to unwind in your room before you join the fray downstairs.
My mother made a rule that we couldn’t ask anything of her until she had changed into her jeans. That was our signal that she had decompressed after work and was ready to engage in the family hubbub.
Children often misbehave simply to get their parents’ attention. Though it confounds adults, children would rather be yelled at than be ignored. Perhaps it is Darwinian–in the wild, to be ignored by a parent meant that you weren’t safe.
Whatever its origin, this aspect of child-rearing can be very trying. Negative cycles can so easily begin by a child learning that acting up is the surest way to get a parent’s attention. The only way to avoid this is to lavish love and attention on your child when they are behaving well. Enjoy their company and play games with them.
Praise them with words and gestures often. Reward your child with special activities with you–not with toys and treats. If you sense that your children are acting up more than they should, then that is a sign that you need to stop waiting for your children to misbehave before you give them your attention. With all the love and attention from you that they need, there won’t be many reasons to misbehave!
This article was written by Katie Basson. Katie Basson is a parent, teacher, and creator of The BITs Kit Better Behavior Kit for Kids™. Katie teaches seminars on behavior modification techniques, and assists parents through challenging behavioral and educational issues. She serves on the Board of Directors of the YWCA and is an educational advisor to Zoesis, Inc., a children’s software company. Katie’s expert advice has been sought for articles in The Boston Globe and Parents Magazine.