Your children aren't good... but they aren't bad either.
The first step to redirecting your child's negative behavior is to realize that your child is either THRIVING or STRUGGLING. When you shift your mindset to realize your child is neither good or bad, you will have empathy for your children. This is so important, because you would not punish a child that you know is struggling. Your reaction would be to help that child to thrive.
If you know your child is struggling, think about how you can help your child. Maybe it's giving your child a choice so they feel like they have some power. For example, if your child is throwing a fit because her dress shoes are dirty, you could say, "I'm sorry, your dress shoes are dirty right now. Would you rather wear your pink shoes or your brown boots?" You are not manipulating your child, rather you are giving your child a choice on a matter in which you have no preference. By giving your child choices, you can redirect their behavior.
Additionally, you can give choices to adults and peers in your life. Possibly offer two positives first. For example, "Honey, I appreciated that you worked on the walkway yesterday and it was helpful that you played with our daughter while I got work done. I just have a few things left to do, would you be able to help me? The dishes need to be put in the dishwasher and the garbage needs to be taken out. Can you do one, which would you rather do?"
Remember, the children and people around you are either struggling or thriving. Help them thrive! Support them. Offering choices is one simple way to help them gain some sense of power. Try it and tell me how it worked for you.
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If you have a problem in your relationships and you don't know what to do, bring your question to my next radio show.
Susan Dockerill has ten years of teaching children in public, private, and military schools at home and abroad, plus 17 years teaching and mediating with parents and teachers. Susan has the expertise to speak frankly about marriage, divorce, children, and being responsible for living the life of your dreams.
Learn how to redirect your child's behavior and improve relationships in all facets of your life in our Redirecting Children's Behavior Course.
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