|1. One of the best tips I have given parents and have heard many other teachers adopt is something I discovered when
trying to focus a group of children to complete a task. It is not uncommon for teachers to use a count down ( 10, 9, 8, .... down to 1). I
began using a count down from 5 when ever I gave an instruction to a child who had a tendency to ignore instructions. I discovered
this works so much better than counting up to 3, which is a technique many parents use with children. In my classroom and at
home it became my "rule of thumb" to give an instruction once, wait a moment and if a child was not moving to the task begin the
count down from 5. Try it, you will see how well it works. After all every child instinctively knows when you get to zero there is a
blast off or an explosion, or something happens. Which leads to tip number 2.
2. Make sure something always happens when you get to zero. You move the child to the task, you place them in time out,
you turn off the tv, something..... the more natural the consequence the better, but if you don't follow through neither will a child.
3. Every class I attend supports the same thing, and I know you've heard it, consistency is the key! But remember not only to
follow through when you ask a child to do something consistently, but make sure when you tell children something that your
language is consistent with your own behaviors. For example if you say, "it is time to go", then you need to leave. If you say, "we
need our coats", put yours on first. If you say, "time for bed" don't stall. Young children, especially, define language by the context
in which it is used. When you say, "Mommy has to go", but then you don't leave; the actions don't match the words. To a child
perhaps, "I'll be back soon" or "I love you", won't match either. Children will learn to trust you and your words if they are consistent
with the behavior that matches it.
4. If you use time out to correct a child's behavior, use it correctly. The whole point of a time out is to help the child accept
responsibility for their actions. These Time-outs should always begin with the word, "When". For example if the child refuses to pick
up their toys, you say "When you are ready to clean up your toys, you may get up". Some children may be ready to clean up
immediately. That is GREAT. It means they are making quick adjustments to their behaviors. So you say, "Terrific, show me you are
ready to clean up" If they do not go right to their work repeat the chair and the statement, When.... Some children may need much
longer than the standard one minute per year of age. (Occasional reminder cues are ok, like: "are you ready to show me you can
pick up the toys?" If a child is allowed to get up without performing the task for which they were placed in the chair, then the child
has not only missed the lesson of the chair, but instead learns that if he/she is willing to sit a while, they can get out of something for
which they are responsible. Note this "time out" is not the same as you need to take a break and calm yourself sort of time out. But
even then, a "When" statement might be the correct tactic. When you can speak to me calmly, you may get up. Always remember to
help the child see that their change in attitude, is what got them out of the chair. They are in control of how long they sit.
5. Teaching your child the difference between a good secret and a bad secret could be a literal life saver. Do you know the
difference? A good secret is one that is temporary and limited. ie: surprise party or gift. Most everyone knows about it, just one
person may not know the secret, and eventually they will know it too. Bad secrets are limited, permanent, and often come with a
threat...ie: If you tell anyone I will hurt you. or this is a secret just for us, no one should ever know. Any time you have a "secret" to
share with your child like a gift, point out that it is a good secret and why. Use those moments to draw the distinction between a
good and bad secret. Tell your child that if anyone ever tells them a bad secret, they should find someone who loves them and tell
the secret. A person who loves you will help you get rid of it.
6. A really good way to explain the death of a loved one to a child is to use the experience of caterpillars turning to butterflies.
Other caterpillars do not see their friend after it transforms into a butterfly, but it still exists. It has just changed it's form and gone to a
new place. We don't see our loved ones because they too have changed like the caterpillar, and they too are in a new place.
7. Look for other tips on Face Book posts at Naptime Nanny.... send me your questions & comments too, perhaps we can
brainstorm great solutions for you and your children.
|Tips, Tools and Advice from Naptime Nanny
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