Written By: Nikki Morro-Parent Coach
So many of our children’s “misbehaviors” stem from a feeling of lack of control, which leads to fear and anxiety; and a desire to be heard, feel needed, and important/loved. When we show our kids that we are their Confident Leader, by giving them secure boundaries, and following through with predictability and consistency, they can relax…and just be kids. As an added bonus for us, they will be less likely to engage us in power struggles, and more likely to LISTEN. Hallelujah!! Here are my top 4 strategies for getting your kids to listen, by setting fair and consistent boundaries:
- Utilize “Preparatory Warnings” to help with transitions:
- Set a timer -Let your child know that they have “x” number of minutes left of their preferred activity, and that when the timer goes off, the activity will be all done.
- Count DOWNs –i.e. “We will be all done coloring in 5…4…3…2…1.”
- Use natural endings/completion times. –i.e. “When this episode is over, the TV is going to be shut off.”
- Use “2 Warnings, Then Consequence Method”:
- 1st warning- Give warning.
- 2nd warning –Restate warning, and state specific consequence.
- 3rd follow through with consequence, if needed, and/or acknowledge your child for “making a good choice”.
- First…Then Statements:
- This tool can be used to give some predictability during transitions. (i.e. “First we will be going to the store, then we can go to the park.”)
- This can also be used to get your child’s “buy-in,” for non-preferred activities. Using this strategy helps your child know that they will get something they want, after doing something you want. (i.e. “First you need to cleanup your blocks, then you can go outside to play.”)
- Premeditated Choices:
- Many of your child’s “misbehaviors” are their way of exerting their control. If you give your child more choices throughout the day, they will be less likely to engage you in power struggles.
- This is a sly way for you to get what you want, while making your child feel like they are in control.
- Give your child 2 choices, both resulting in an outcome that YOU are happy with.
All these strategies are great ways to prevent “problem behaviors” …and set firm yet loving boundaries with your little one. By having these strategies in your pocket, you will find yourself spending so much less time trying to get your child to listen, and so much more time on the things that you truly value. Grace and ease with parenting is priceless!
For more specifics on this tip, watch this video blog:
For more strategies like this, join Nikki’s communities on Facebook and Instagram @tothemoonparentcoaching. Schedule your FREE Mini Session, to see how Nikki Morro can help you reach your parenting goals, email Nikki at: [email protected].