Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mistakes and Misbehavior
I know parents are often at a loss as to what to do when children misbehave.  Particularly if it has to do with another child.   It is difficult, I know, to figure out who was at fault and how to teach them to behave nicely towards others.

May I make a few suggestions?   If children are unkind to others (this includes you!), here are 4 steps to help turn the negative into a learning experience.  If you use these steps often, it will become a habit for both you and your child.

1. Children need to understand what they did wrong.   Older kids can verbally tell you what have to guide little ones to understand.   Don't lecture or go on about what happened, remember we are trying to make this a positive learning moment.  Just make sure they understand what happened.

2.  Children also need to recognize that they had a part in the situation.  If they continue to say.."but it wasn't me" etc, just simply state that they were part of the problem.  Once they recognize this, move on.

3.  Next step is to make amends.   That may be an apology or replacing something.  It could be restoring something to its original state (cleaning up, washing a coloured wall etc).   Remember, apologies will be different for every child and every situation.   Some show it emotional, some just say the words.  This is ok, as we are teaching them what an apology is.

4.  My last suggestion is important and I think parents miss this step!  This is probably the biggest step to a positive learning opportunity.   Simply ask your child what they could do next time to avoid this situation.   Ask them what steps they can take when this problem occurs again.   Depending on age, with younger children you will have to tell them and with older children you can guide them into coming up with solutions.   A child is more able to remember what to do when the situation comes up again, if they are involved in the solution.

So remember:   Your children are going to make mistakes. It is a human thing to do.  We need to guide those mistakes into opportunities to learn how to do it better the next time.
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1 comment:

  1. I love these tips! Especially the suggestion of asking how to avoid the situation in the future. Asking engaging questions really helps build the bond between parent and child. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday!


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