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Can You Fix Bad Behaviour In A Week

Permissive Parenting - Is It Good For Children?

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When the kids are constantly playing up it can seem like nothing will ever work to stop it. Even when you do find a solution that seems effective, the little tykes have an uncanny knack for developing an immunity to it within days … sometimes even hours. It can feel like you are forever lurching from one solution to the next, through ‘Time Out’ and Removal of Privileges, to Consequences and Just Plain Shouting. It’s exhausting.

One Internet Mum took the step of asking some family experts for their advice; she spent a week trying out their different approaches to see what would work best. You can find her story on the US site Parents.com, but the essence of the advice she received is laid out here for you. It makes interesting reading …

Day One – Advice from a Clinical Psychologist

The first spot of advice was to effectively ignore the bad behaviour. Don’t react. Because in doing so you are sending the message that it will deliver attention to your child, which is what they crave. To the child it doesn’t matter if the attention is not the happy kind – it’s better than nothing. And if bad behaviour brings your attention, your child will keep on behaving that way. This advice is not new. And it does work. But it takes patience and an ability to ignore some loud and persistent protests – this can be especially tricky of you’re out and about. It also can leave your child feeling abandoned and alone with his emotions, which in my book is never a good thing. Nevertheless, at a practical level this technique is effective.

Day Two – Advice from a Family Coach

Staying positive was the order of the day for the second round of this Mum’s experiment. The advice from the coach was, if we expect kids to behave badly they probably will. The trick is to set them up for success by using words that give them something positive to hold onto. If they are struggling with a task, don’t focus on what they are failing at, but how they can use what they are good at to their benefit. I tried this with my son yesterday when he was struggling to draw something – I reminded him how great he is at drawing smiley faces, 5 minutes later he proudly showed me his finished creation. I’m still not sure what it was, but instead of banging pens around in a temper, he was happy. Good enough for me!

Day Three – Advice from a Paediatric Psychologist

Advice nugget number three was to change your own behaviour to model that which you want to see from your kids. I’m a huge fan of this approach – I’ve seen it in action in my own home and it really does work wonders. If you spend your time nagging and moaning your kids will do the same. If instead, you are outwardly positive yourself and reinforce their good behaviours by pointing them out to your kids, you will all be more content. They may look at you as if you are nutty, but your happy attention feels good to them so they are more likely to remodel the good behaviours that brought it about next time around.

Day Four – Advice from an author of Positive Parenting Techniques

The premise behind the next piece of advice was that when children are acting out there is generally a reason behind it. They are not just being annoying (although it may feel that way!). The author suggested validating your child’s feelings first, before you discipline. So ‘Little Johnny, I can see you are mad because he broke your toy and that’s okay. But hitting isn’t, so you need to XXX (insert preferred method of discipline)’. The Mum in question found this worked really well, provided you have the patience to see it through when the kids are wound up in the heat of the moment and need calming before they will listen.

Day Five – Advice from a Chief Family Medicine Officer

According to this expert, consistency is key. Again this is nothing new, but with the never-ending battles that parents can face with their kids, a little reminder of its value is always worthwhile. Parental moods vary daily too and this can affect how we respond to our children’s behaviours. When we give differing responses to the same behaviours our kids get confused, they need to keep testing. If we can maintain a consistency in our approach, they are more likely to get the message more quickly and relax.

Can You Fix Bad Behaviour In A Week

Day Six – Advice from a Parenting Author

We all get it wrong sometimes and know that we’ve let things slip. The Mum doing the experiment knew her kids’ screen time had evolved beyond the limits she was happy with, it was causing squabbles between her children. The author advised that a resetting of new boundaries is okay and, while these new rules will be met with resistance at first, standing firm will pay dividends. It worked for this Mum. I’m thinking about trying this one out too.

Day Seven – Global Advice …

Sunday may traditionally be a day of rest but, of necessity, many of us spend our ‘day off’ on household chores and catching up on stuff. This Mum decided to take a break from that and just spent time chilling out with her kids. The difference in their behaviour and her own mood was wholly positive. In the real world we simply can’t always drop everything to do this of course – but maybe once in a while is enough to recharge the family batteries.





About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, whatsapp plus,travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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