BEST STARTS FOR KIDS
Why Spend Positive Time Together
Spending Positive Time Together Gives Us Credit Points to fall back on
Develop daily and weekly routines where your children know they will get to spend quality time with you
Find an activity you can enjoy doing together
When children speak to you, look at them as much as practically possible and listen
You can rephrase what your child is saying to check for clarity and to help them express exactly what they mean
Avoid using your phone where ever possible, if it involves ignoring your children
Develop daily routines where your child knows they're going to get positive time with you, such as bedtimes or just after work.
You can read together, discuss good things about your day, plan weekend activities, talk about things you're both grateful for.
Look for opportunities to include your children in your daily routines.
Cooking is a great activity because young children love to cook. Gardening is another. Even things like sweeping or house-painting can be fun for a child. There are child-sized brooms you can get. Or you can give your child a paintbrush and a bucket of water to paint on pathways while you paint nearby (as long as you're not at height or if you'll be leaving the paint unattended.)
N.B. People in our lives have the equivalent of an emotional bank account.
If they're in credit we view them more favourably and they do the same with us.
But as parents it's really easy to fall into debit with your kids without even realizing it. Things as simple as saying: 'Tidy your room...' 'Hurry up, we need to go...' 'Have you finished your homework yet, it's time for bed...' all take tiny amounts out of our accounts.
With teenagers especially, we can be in the red without even realizing it.
So how do you stay out the red, considering many of your daily interactions could be perceived as negative (especially if someone wasn't giving you the benefit of the doubt?)
Find an activity you can share together that you both enjoy. And be fully present.
It could be painting, surfing, kicking a footy around the yard, cooking, reading together, gardening, building something together, playing hide and seek or catchies, etc. As your children mature the activity may change, or they may continue to cook, garden, surf with you through their entire life.
Stop what you're doing and really listen to your child when they talk to you whenever possible. If you're unsure of their emotion, rephrase what they've said and repeat it back.
Child example: 'Mr Dobson said I can't go to the sports carnival.'
Useful Phraseology: clarification
You: 'You can't go to the sports carnival?
Let them repeat their story and watch again for an emotional cue so you don't get it wrong, especially with a teenager.
Look at their face and body language and say something like:
Useful Phraseology: understanding
'You seem (a bit/ really) (happy/ sad/ annoyed/ frustrated/ frightened ) about that...
Then really listen to their response.
It's likely Mr Dobson has a good reason. It could be something like missing a trial exam for example but alternatively it could be something like your child had been missing Mr Dobson's class... And if that were the case, you might investigate why. Even if you can't always help your child solve their problem, at least they'll feel like you understand them.
How important would you feel if the friend you were out with, kept ignoring you, choosing instead to continually check their phone.
'Children spell love...
Dr A. Whitman
For more Behaviour Strategies go to the following links:
Plan for fun family days, outings, weekends away or holidays together so that everyone has positive experiences together as a family.
'Fun Days' don't have to be expensive. Kids love playing at the park or going to the beach. Camping holidays can be heaps of fun. Children can learn to ride bikes in areas that aren't built up, or set up a tent, explore new places, interact with native or farm animals, play board games together or cards, or toast marshmallows by a fire (if supervised by a parent.) As a family you can even lay on your backs on a blanket by a lake and look up at the stars and discuss constellations.
Turning off your phone shows your child they're more important than something on Facebook.
I don't think we've come to terms with the negative impact of technology on our children's lives. For example: Is there any point having a meal together with your child if they're sitting at the table using an Ipad while you're texting on your phone. How important do you think this makes them feel they are to you?
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