This works for me! Ideas from moms to moms.

Adapted from the Encouragement newsletter, here’s a few tips from moms who’ve checked them out and found they work! 

Distract small children when they are arguing or when they are “into” something they shouldn’t be.  eg. Child is crying because big sister is playing with a friend.  Say, “Honey, I need your help in the kitchen to stir the cake I’m baking.”  When a small child is touching the television, try, “Honey, I haven’t seen the new book you got at the library. Can you bring it to me?”

Try Again! When children speak rudely or impolitely, say, “Let’s try that again.”  It gives them a chance to practice speaking politely and doesn’t shame them.

Give a choice:   When there are chores to be done, ask the child, “Which would you rather do, sweep the floor or water the plants?”  To the next child, “Would you rather water the plants or vacuum the rug?” 

Focus:  When children are having a difficult time following your directions or listening to you, tell them, “Look at my face” or use “Focus” as a buzz word. 

Replace “Don’t run” with “Walk.  Tell children what you want them to do rather than what you DON’T want them to do.  One is an action that children can follow.  How do you “not do” something?  “Sit quietly” replaces “Don’t talk.”  “Keep your hands at your sides.” replaces “Don’t touch that!”

Angela Di Cicco

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