For a while now I have been feeling as though I have almost gotten into a rut with my children. I ask them to do something and they whine and complain, or it takes me saying something five times to get them moving. This is not the picture that comes to mind when I think of having strong parenting skills. I want my children to have enough respect for me to do what I ask them to do without the complaints, and the first time I ask them. Am I living a pipe dream? I truly hope not!
Parenting Techniques For Difficult Children
Everyone who has at least one difficult child raise their hand! I think most people can say at one point or another their child was difficult. Perhaps it was just a phase they were going through at the time, but whatever the case may be, that period of time can be a huge challenge. You start questioning your parenting abilities, and if taking a different approach may be more beneficial. I am always trying to find ways to improve my parenting techniques for difficult children. Frankly, my concern is whether or not I am raising my children to be great adults.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit in on a webinar hosted by Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions. This was a one hour class titled “Turn Complaining Into Cooperating In 2013”. It was a very insightful webinar, that I am glad I sat in on. I admit I have heard some of it before, but hearing it again is always good. There were also several things that were new to me.
Balance of Communication With Children
One of the focuses of this class was shifting the balance of your communication. A lot of the whining and complaining (from the child) stem from the need for attention and power. The more attention given to the complaining, the more it is reinforced. Makes sense, right? So how do you stop that cycle because, let’s face it, when they are in the midst of whining and complaining it is hard to ignore it. However, that is exactly what McCready suggests.
She posed a question asking how many requests and reminders are you directing towards your children versus just communicating? For example, how often do you say these phrases: put your backpack away, hang up your coat, do your homework, get your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, brush your teeth, and on and on the list goes. Do you often then get attitude, and “ugh” sound, or stomping off? Honestly, I think I say about all of these things and get those exact responses. I’ve tried sending to room, taking things away, and talking about the fact that it is disrespectful and unacceptable. But none of those things have nipped it in the butt.
McCready says all of these reminders and requests create a power struggle. She suggests for the next two weeks shifting the balance of communication. If you are spending 90% of the time ordering, reminding and directing and only 10% is spent in real communication flip that around. It is all in the way you speak to your child. For example, instead of telling them they need to get their homework done, say “What is your plan for …?” This is empowering to your child. You are in effect reminding them, but giving them the power to communicate with you at the same time. During this two weeks of time, is also the time that you ignore the attitude, “ughs” and stomping.
I have not started using this method completely yet, although that is my goal for this week. It seems so easy, but when you are not used to posing these types of questions to your children it is a little difficult to remember!
Also, there was a lot more information that was covered in this Webinar than what I have shared with you. This is just a small portion of what was covered.