The Secrets To Improving Childrens Behaviour

Most parents at some stage are driven to distraction by one or more of their children's annoying habits or behaviours, whether it is a toddler who continually whines, a school-aged child who leaves clothes lying around or a teenager who uses a less than pleasant vocabulary.

How to affect change is a challenge for many parents. Do you ignore a child's annoying behaviour or do you pick up on it? A useful rule of thumb is to pick up on behaviours that are dangerous to the child himself or significantly infringe on the rights and comfort of others.

Also ask yourself: Is this behaviour reasonable for the child's age? For instance, it is reasonable to expect an eight year old not to disturb you while you are on the phone for twenty minutes but it is not reasonable to expect the same of a two year old.

It is also useful to take into account the child's current state of mind and what is going in on their lives that may be related to some unusual behaviour to occur at home.

The following four principles for changing your child's behaviour will be effective if you are both patient and persistent.

Principle one: Change your initial response first. This is important because children's behaviour generally requires a pay-off, which may be your attention or an attempt to defeat you. The most important principle about changing children's behaviour is to change your own behaviour first.So if your child' whines (a child's version of water torture) to get his own way refrain from answering back or giving in.

Principle two: Practise with your child the behaviour that you want. The notion of behaviour rehearsal is fundamental to learning a new behaviour. Don't just tell kids what you expect, get them to practise the behaviour you want. In the example of a young whiner - get him to practise asking for help or a treat in a normal voice.

Principle three: Minimise the behaviour you don't want. That means when children continue their old behaviour despite your brilliant suggestions ignore it, sidestep it or implement a consequence but don't nag or harp on it. Remember it takes time often to change a behaviour, particularly if it has been happening for a long time.

Principle four: Spotlight the appropriate behaviour. When your children behave in the desired way show your sincere appreciation. We often take children for granted or rather we are trained to give children no attention when they are good, but plenty when they are less than perfect. The behaviours we focus on expand so we need to focus our attention on desirable behaviours more than on the negative behaviours. For our young whiner it is essential to make a fuss when he uses a normal voice to get what he wants.

Like any process it will only work if you stick to it and follow it through. And don't be afraid to adapt it to suit your circumstances. Remember, it is the fact that you have a plan rather than the nature of the plan that is most powerful in achieving a change in your children's behaviour.

For practical ideas to make children's irritating behaviours such as whining, nagging, tantrums and sibling fighting disappear read Michael Grose's ground-breaking book - One Step Ahead. It is available at the shop at www.parentingideas.com.au

Michael Grose is Australia's leading parenting educator. He is the author of six books and gives over 100 presentations a year and appears regularly on television, radio and in print. For further ideas to help you raise happy children and resilient teenagers visit http://www.parentingideas.com.au . While you are there subscribe to Happy Kids newsletter and receive a free report Seven ways to beat sibling rivalry.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Washington Post

Invisible discipline: How do you know if a parenting strategy works ...
Washington Post
An excerpt from her new book: The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — And What to Do About It.
Shocking new idea in parenting: Let kids be kids - Lowell Sun OnlineLowell Sun

all 3 news articles »

Bedford + Bowery

Juno Director Jason Reitman Tackles the 'Very Taboo' Subject of Parenting in Tully
Bedford + Bowery
Eleven years after his zany teen pregnancy screwball — a little film called Juno — Jason Reitman is back with a new kind of motherhood comedy. Tully may be less indie-music-infused than its Ellen Page-starring forerunner, but don't be fooled: this ...


Washington Times

How the New 'God of War' Game Was Inspired by Real-Life Parenting Challenges
TIME
But he also gleaned some important ideas about how to build Kratos' character by observing the ways in which his wife manages parenting's many challenges. Barlog points to one story in particular that provided a breakthrough for developing the right ...
'God of War' review: Papa Kratos learns parenting not for faint-heartedWashington Times
God of War and Yakuza 6 show how games can tell great stories about parentsThe Verge

all 553 news articles »

Wall Street Journal (blog)

Hack 'n' Slash Meets Parenting in Sony's 'God of War' Reboot
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Rebooting a successful videogame franchise is risky—how does a studio hold on to its existing fan base, while at the same time appealing to a new audience? WSJ's Mark Kelly visits Santa Monica Studio to meet the creators of “God of War.” Image: SIE ...


Slate Magazine

Parenting advice about baby talk and horses. And barfing.
Slate Magazine
Care and Feeding is Slate's parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Email [email protected] Dear Care and Feeding,. This is a bit gross so read at your own risk. My kid is 15 months old and has discovered he can make ...

and more »

Military Times

Parenting in uniform: Don't let baby break the bank
Military Times
From diapers to formula to car seats to clothing, the dollars add up fast when it comes to newborns, and the parents' budget can take a big hit. And it's not just expenses: A major financial consideration is the potential drop in income when a spouse ...


Variety

'Tully's' Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody on Normalizing the Dark Side of Parenting
Variety
People are quick to paint parenthood as a paradise, said “Tully” director Jason Reitman. But fewer people discuss the utter fear and exhaustion that accompany caring for living, breathing children. “It's scary to be a first-time parent,” Reitman told ...
'Tully' film cast, crew talk parentingNEWS.com.au
Charlize Theron Reveals 'Very Long Journey' to Lose 50 Pounds Packed on for 'Tully' (Exclusive)Entertainment Tonight

all 124 news articles »

Parenting expo at Lincolnshire library
Chicago Daily Herald
The Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire hosts a Bump to Baby Expo for new and expecting parents from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the library, 300 Olde Half Day Road. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Twenty ...


NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Parenting Law Coming to Texas?
NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Life in the Barbara house in Double Oak, moves at one speed. Parents Shawnti and Brian Barbara have kids who are 3, 7, 9 and 12 years old. The parents are simply numbered, but it's also just the way they want it. "Our kids are free to explore," said ...


The Southside Messenger

Parenting Children from Hard Places
The Southside Messenger
Dr. Karyn Purvis and her team at Texas Christian University developed a parenting model called Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Extensive attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research supports this parenting model. TBRI is an ...

Google News

No Invitation Needed: Sacred Children Series - 3 of 3

I had my first two children on either side of... Read More

The Importance of Mothers

Moms, did you ever question your value as a role... Read More

A Dads Thoughts On Dads day

21 Reasons I Love Being A DadWhat you will read... Read More

Americas Public schools --- Deteriorating Like They Did In Ancient Rome

The citizens of the early Roman Republic enjoyed an education... Read More

How To Teach Your Children Social Skills

As our children grow, they will be going to schools... Read More

Personal Responsibility: What It Means and Whose Job is It?

"How many times do I have to tell you to... Read More

The Science of Mother Love

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the way... Read More

How Often Does Child Sexual Abuse Get Reported?

Not nearly as often as it should. Most child abuse... Read More

Tools to Find Family-Friendly Content

The Internet, is magnificent in its resources for families. Educational... Read More

Are Public Schools A Menace To Your Kids? -- 11 Danger Signals

Parents, do you have children who do poorly in school,... Read More

10 Steps to School Year Success

One of the most important aspects of parenting, is ensuring... Read More

Homework Help for the Attention Deficit Child

Does the homework battle so typical with your hyperactive or... Read More

Hints on how to encourage children to read

Hints from Ruowen Wang? Keep a small basket filled with... Read More

Jammin with Your Kids: The Wonderful World of Music

Does music need to be "dumbed-down" for kids? The answer... Read More

Meet The Twixters!

There is a new stage of development for parents to... Read More

Celebrating Mom: How To Make Every Day Her Special Day!

Bearers of life, wipers of noses, givers of unconditional love... Read More

What Are Your Children Really Watching?

Saturday mornings. Cold cereal and Scooby Doo. How many parents... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 3 Ways to Make the Time

Every now and then I'll get a story sent to... Read More

Relate With Your Teen And Gain Their Trust

We were all teens at one time for some many... Read More

Choosing the Perfect Jogging Stroller

When choosing the perfect jogging stroller, a very important question... Read More

Children - Blessing or Curse

You're trying to catch up on some sleep on a... Read More

Homework Doesn?t Have to Be a Battle of Wills

Homework. It doesn't have to be a daily battle of... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Teenager and the Gorilla

Q: A parent writes in to ask, "You write a... Read More

Are Parents Trying Too Hard?

One of the implications of the current trend toward smaller... Read More

Your Big Yellow Bus

The big yellow school bus is coming down my road... Read More