I have two really well-behaved kids, my friends are often amazed at how I manage to pull this off, everyone keeps asking me about my magic weapon.
Are you also wondering what my magic trick is? Intimidation, punishment, bribes or timeouts – Well, I am happy to share that it is none of these. While my kids also have their naughty moments from time to time, most days in our household are calm and ordered. The way I have achieved this is by setting a good example and by letting them know what’s expected of them.
When me and my husband model certain behavior in front of them we are forming a solid foundation that we further build upon by clearly clarifying our expectations from them. We started this practice when they were 16-18 months old. And now that they are ready to go to preschool soon, our expectations are practically internalized in them, so much so that now they sort of expect the same from themselves.
Here are few rules for worried parents who are teaching good behavior to children:
Rule No. 1# Start with some self reflection
If you want your child to “Put their things back in their right place, pack their bags themselves, put their dishes in the sink” – you also need to start doing all of this. If you think you can sell the concept of “I am older so I can do whatever I want to do” then you won’t get compliance from your child. When your child sees you behaving properly, he’ll also do the same.
Rule No. 2# Consistency is important
You can only expect them to learn rules if you are applying them consistently. Also, in your quest to discipline your kids don’t forget that they need your love and support too. With your constant love and support, kids can learn just about anything.
Rule No. 3# Encourage them with your body language
Children can interpret our facial expressions and we can use our gestures and body language to encourage them: “See how your friend smiled when you shared your toys with him.” “Did you observe how your dad smiled when you cleaned up after yourself?” This way you’ll teach your child how to interpret the behavior of others and how his or her own behavior is being interpreted by others.
Rule No. 4# Screaming is not a solution
A friend of mine, who is quite impressed with my parenting style, said to me “My son is so loud that the only way I can make him listen to me is by screaming.” Screaming on your child to make him stop screaming doesn’t sound wise – does it? My secret is to use friendly words and a calm tone to reinforce good behavior.
Rule No. 5# Make sure their school is on the same page
If you are doing everything right, but you drop the ball while choosing the preschool then all your effort goes down the drain. Your parenting and the teacher’s manner of handling your child at school must meet halfway, otherwise the child remains confused about how he is supposed to conduct himself. How I have managed to handle this? By enrolling my child in one of the best preschools accredited by QualityKG advanced preschool accreditation. With the Preschool accreditation standards established by QualityKG I am assured that my son’s preschool is on the same page as me.
Kids are kids and their behavior varies, there are days when they are heaven sent angels who listen to everything you say, and then there are days when it becomes impossible to get them to behave. The key here is to give them the responsibility by clarifying your expectations from them and while you are at it you can also learn to practice what you preach!