Yesterday I wrote a story about how to help your sons navigate “Mean Boy” relationships. It got me thinking: There are a lot of bullies roaming around out there. How do you make sure your kid isn’t one of them?
Tagged With behavior
When my son was a tantrum-y (and somewhat aggressive) toddler/preschooler, we spent a lot of time enforcing the time-honored tradition of the time-out. Made extra popular by Supernanny Jo Frost, the time-out seemed like a bit of a last result — and honestly not terribly effective — but we found ourselves going to it over and over, at a loss for how else to correct behaviours that were very much not OK.
On the parenting podcast What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood, co-host Amy Wilson told a childhood story about how she loved to poop in a nappy “until a pretty ripe old age”. She knew she shouldn’t do it, and her mum and dad knew she knew, but their efforts to get her to stop weren’t working. And so they finally took her to see a doctor.
Every parent has offered incentives: "If you're patient while I get the tyres rotated, we'll get ice cream afterwards." Or, "if you play nicely with your cousin, you can use the iPad before dinner." Teachers certainly have used behaviour rewards for time out of mind - but offering incentives for behaviour isn't necessarily the best way to build character and increase motivation.
Sure, you can tell your kid to bathe regularly, to never be late, to eat balanced meals, to thank customer service employees, to be a pure and utter delight. But you might just sound like a flight attendant announcing the aeroplane safety procedures with a broken microphone. To get kids to really think about their actions and make more thoughtful choices, one teacher shares this psychological technique: Have them think about how they can behave badly.
Sleep habits. Fertility. Steps per day. Water consumption. There's a tracker for that -- all of that. So it probably shouldn't have surprised me to read Dr Catherine Pearlman's advice for struggling parents, and yet it kind of blew my mind. When you're trying to change your child's behaviour and you're not sure if what you're doing is working, she suggests collecting some data and analysing it.
Android: We all have bad habits, whether it's smoking or biting your nails or buying crap you don't need. Some habits are harder to break than others, of course, and while this app won't do the hard work for you, it might help you along the way.