5 Things to Know about Raising Kids: # 4 Know Your Options

Waving girlKid # 1 loved charts.  Anything we hoped to accomplish could be motivated by a chart on the fridge to measure progress, promise reward and keep the goal in mind.  I assumed all my kids would respond in similar fashion.  Wrong!  Kid # 2 was not impressed with charts.  They would linger on the fridge un-filled in, not noticed, not working!

By the time I had four kids, one of the biggest eye-openers was realizing many techniques work to train children.  Experts even disagree when it comes to specific strategies, which was a relief when my friends couldn’t agree either.

Like there are many roads that lead to Chicago, learning basic skills, following the rules, finishing chores, getting homework done and all the other tasks of kid-dom can be accomplished via different routes.

Interested in a few options for teaching obedience?

1)     An intentional look in their direction will work for some kids who will know exactly what that means and shape up.

2)     Time-out/grounding works well with extraverted kids but an introvert kid might sometimes enjoy the chance to be alone.

3)     A sincere conversation with a child who likes to cooperate might take care of a situation as they really want to do the right thing.

4)     Reality Discipline using natural consequences is usually effective, especially with older kids.  You hit your brother during the movie, you cannot finish watching it. You did not come home on time so next time your curfew is earlier.

5)     If you’re not sure what to do, ask for time to respond.  “I need to sort out what just happened, we’ll talk about this soon.”   Works well with teens too!

Next Monday:  # 5 Know Where to Get Help

See you Thursday!  Meanwhile,  Hope for the best!

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