Creative Child

Positive Strategies for Better Behaved Kids

by Rebecca Eanes

Parenting Strategies

Empathize

It can be oh-so tempting to brush off a child's seemingly over-the-top emotional waves. “It's not that big of a deal!” or “There's no reason to cry about it!” are common responses, especially when the trigger of their upset seems so trivial to us, like the wrong sippy cup. I think we are afraid of creating little drama kings and queens if we show empathy for big feelings that well up over small matters. But, the truth is that the feelings are going to well up either way, and while we don't have to change the cup, we can at least let them know we understand those feelings - because certainly we have felt them too at some point. In fact, talking about them is a great way to teach emotional intelligence.

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Speak Their Language

Have you heard of the Five Love Languages for Children? They are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. While all of these communicate love to every child (really every human!), each person has a primary love language, one in particular that really speaks love to them. Once you know their primary love language, you can make adjustments to fill your child's love tank. For example, my oldest son's primary love language is words of affirmation, closely followed by quality time. With that knowledge I was able to put more intention into affirming words and finding ways for us to spend one-on-one time together, which really improved our connection.

Make Connection Top Priority

Connection is the parenting key. Connecting with your child engages the upper brain where reasoning, logic, and empathy take place. The result is a better behaved child, who wants to please you because you're so close. Looking for ways to connect? Read this article for 10 ways to connect with your child.

If poor behavior is a problem, take the one month challenge. Commit to seeing, hearing, understanding, showing love, and connecting with your child every day for one month. I think you'll be amazed at the positive changes you see!

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Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 

 

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