Raising Respectful Kids
Tired of dealing with bickering, backtalk and other problem behaviors? Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Parenting Books, offers some practical strategies for dealing with 10 of the most common -- and annoying -- discipline problems.
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Problem: The moment you try to carry on a conversation with another adult, your child start interrupting.
Solution: Let your child know that interrupting is rude and that she needs to wait her turn. Then carry on your conversation despite the interruptions. Once you've finished talking to the adult, turn your attention to your child so that her patience is rewarded. She needs to know that she'll get the chance to have her say.
Problem: Your child is constantly teasing his younger sister, something that inevitably results in outbursts of crying.
Solution: Remind your older child that teasing is only fun if the other person is enjoying it, too -- and obviously his sister isn't having much fun if she's spending most of her time crying! Then come up with a consequence for the teasing -- perhaps a timeout in another part of the house away from his sister if he can't manage to refrain from teasing.
Problem: Your two kids have found a new way to entertain themselves whenever they're at loose ends -- picking fights with one another. They seem to find it endlessly enjoyable, but it's driving you around the bend.
Solution: Let your kids know that you find the bickering endlessly annoying, and that, from now on, you're going to take bickering as a sign that the two of them need something to do -- like fold laundry, unload the dishwasher or otherwise pitch in with chores.
Problem: Your daughter cheats at card games, board games, and all kinds of sports. She has to win at all costs.
Solution: Let your daughter know that winning isn't the point of playing games-playing the game well is. Our society overemphasizes winning, so sometimes kids feel pressured to win no matter what. By emphasizing such values as honesty and good sportsmanship as opposed to winning, you'll be giving your daughter permission to lose with grace.
Problem: Lately, you've caught your son lying on a number of occasions. When confronted, he admits the truth, but you're disturbed how easily -- and how often -- he's been caught lying.
Solution: Give some thought to how often you bend the truth. Do you tell "little white lies" from time to time? And while you're doing some parental navel gazing, make sure you aren't too heavy handed when it comes to punishment. If a child is afraid of being severely punished for making a mistake, the temptation to lie can be overwhelming. Your child needs to feel confident that honestly really is the best policy in your family.
Problem: Your child has been caught stealing candy or money from his siblings.
Solution: Let your child know that stealing is totally unacceptable and insist that he make restitution to the victim -- perhaps paying back the money or arranging to replace the candy that has been stolen.
Note: If the problem is ongoing or involves large amounts of stealing, you may want to seek professional help for your child as it may be indicative of a more serious problem.
Fun ways to keep kids busy and Happy
How To set up great activities to keep your kids occupied
SheKnows.com shares a few ways you can keep your kids busy in the backyard during the long summer days. Busy kids are happy kids and they give Mom some breathing room for at least a few minutes!
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