What are your best suggestions to get your children to behave?
Sometimes I feel as if I am at my wits end trying to get my children to listen and do what they are told. Do you have any suggestions?
This would really depend on the ages of the children, but really across the board, children need to know exactly what is expected of them. Spell out the rules carefully and so that they understand them. Then, let them know what the specific consequences will be and stick to it. BE CONSISTENT. If your child is a toddler and you tell them they can not have something in the store and they begin to throw a tantrum, take them immediately out of the store even if it is a little inconvenient. If they are older children and they disobey, immediately take away their TV priviledge, video games, or something else that means something to them. I have a 6, 12, and 15 year old and we use various consequences depending on age. For my 15 year old it is taking away his IPOD, then computer, then activities with friends and driving practice. My 12 year old gets restricted from TV, computer, and friends (not all at the same time, but one at a time, more if she continues to fuss), and the 6 year old has to go to her room for time out or has TV taken away. Hers is more immediate due to her age. I've noticed that when we slide some (let some things get by without a consequence) the behavior gets worse, but when we are being more consistent, the behavior is much better. Believe me, my kids don't want to go without their prized possessions and if they know we are seriously going to take them and prove it by doing so, they tend to shape up much quicker. I try to give them the reasons why I am asking things of them though much of the time so that they understand that I am not just making random rules (i.e. we need them to do chores so that we are all helping to keep our house looking nice, we have computer rules so that they are not harmed by things that can happen on the computer, etc)
Watch Nanny 911 and take notes or read the book Bringing Up Bebe (the name is close to that). They both are wonderful at changing a child's behavior for the better.
High expectations and being consistent are the key. When you are, the behavior gets better. Initially, it can feel like all you're doing is disciplining. But, it gets better. Having incentives that they are working for works well for my 3 year old. It feels a lot better than punishment for bad behavior. It puts it in a positive light.
But, being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job.
Best ~ fitmom
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