Monday, February 20, 2012
Parent's Tool Box
Do you have a tool box at home where you keep all those handy things that help you fix problems?
For the next few weeks I'll be featuring one or two tactics per week that you might find helpful in different situations. You'll find some of this information on my Discipline page, but I'm going to elaborate a bit on
each tool. It helps to be prepared, because kid's can surprise us with all kinds of unexpected behavior, both good and not so good.
Redirect – Babies love to explore and that is how they learn. They are not being bad or naughty when they explore but they can certainly get into some trouble, or danger. You can say "no", but because their understanding is limited and their desire to put everything in their mouth is great, it's best to redirect them as much as possible to objects and areas that they can explore.
Toddler's usually have heard the word "no " a lot, so much so that they tend to repeat it all the time. Too many "no's" without alternative choices can make a very frustrated toddler. Too avoid temper tantrums and meltdowns try redirecting your child to something they can do, without using the word "no". Remember that logical thinking starts closer to age 3, so long explanations are not helpful to little ones.
Even as kids get older we can help them avoid negative behavioral outbursts by suggesting a new activity before things get out of control. When you see your elementary age child getting frustrated or irritable, try brainstorming with them about different activities that will redirect their attention in a more positive way. Eventually they should be able to do this themselves, but even a teenager might need some redirecting now and then.
This should not be your only behavior tool, because then children would learn to depend too much on you providing them with an over abundant amount of suggestions, activities or toys. That is definitely not the goal here. It's especially helpful for babies and toddlers to keep them safe while learning. The purpose of using this method as children get older would be to help them learn how to change their own behavior and thoughts to create more positive feelings or productive activities.
Has this information been helpful? Do you use this method with your children?