Experts agree that the best way for parents to improve a child’s behavior is to begin to change their own. Insisting that the child is wrong thus expecting the child to make all the change is a sure-fire way to create a disconnection and a power struggle. The ultimate goal of the parent and child is to build and maintain a lasting connection.
1) Identify the good and not-so-good traits of your growing up years, especially the behavioral inheritance from your upbringing.
2)Keeping your children in mind, establish a plan for working out marriage problems, if they exist, or reinforce the commitment to make the marriage work.
3) Trust your children with family matters proving to them their importance and that what they say matters.
4) As the song says “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Don’t mess with Mr. In-Be-Tween.”Johnny Mercer
5) Listen twice. Speak once. Avoid lecturing.
6) Avoid making inconsistent and insincere threats.
7) Ask curious, not nosy questions and avoid ‘why’ questions.
8) Separate the behavior from the child. Give the behavior a name.
9) Attach a consequence to fit the behavior. Not a punishment.
10) Be empathetic not enabling.
11) Separate their wants from what we know to be their needs.
12) Determine whose problem it is. If it’s yours – YOU own it. If it’s your child’s, THEY own it.
13) Offer choices – not orders. Choices lead to decisions and decisions lead to solutions.
14) Permit children to take credit for their successes and be held accountable for their failures.
15) Take an ‘NO EXCUSE’ stance for inappropriate behavior in yourself or your children.
16) Avoid judgments, evaluations or comparisons. Labeling is disabling.
17) Awareness that the way we talk to our kids is the way they talk to others, but more importantly the way they speak to themselves.
18) Every behavior is a learned behavior. What do you want your children to learn from you?
19) The common denominator in ALL relationships is love, especially with your kids. Love cannot be overstated nor over given.
20) Be objective; Avoid taking things personally unless you created the problem.