These days there are hacks for everything. So, I thought let me see if from my experience, I can find a few parenting hacks.
First let’s understand, what is a hack?
Simply speaking, it’s a cheat sheet. It is an easy way of doing things, we find difficult.
As parents what do we want? One thing we all want that our kids should listen to us, right? Here are some of the hacks that worked for me:
- Follow through: I tell my child “Eat everything in your plate, or I will not give you dessert.” She still does not bother and eats just what she likes. So, I should not be giving her dessert after the meal, right? But, this time I was tired so I gave her the dessert anyway.
What did I do? I did not follow through on the condition that I had set. So, next time
also my child knows that I may repeat what I did this time since I just say things and I don’t act on them. Then where is her incentive to do what she has been told to do? So, either do not set conditions with the child or make sure you follow through.
- Bad choice, worse choice: I want my child to go outside and get some exercise, but the child refuses and wants to watch TV instead. I tell my child, “Either you go out and ride a bicycle (bad choice for the child) or you stay at home and clean your room (worse choice)”.
Now the child will definitely choose to go out, since the other choice is much worse. Also, the underlying understanding here is that the child needs to know that there is no third choice. If the child knows that parents will not follow through then it will not work. And in the case of our above example the child will just start watching TV although we specifically told them not to.
Also, here the by-product is: the child is thinking independently. Here the child thinks he/she made a choice for him/herself and it was not a forced decision.
- First time warning: My child just says something mean to the neighbor’s child and I get very angry. So, I scold her, maybe even hit her!!
Now look at the same thing from the child’s mind – She says, what’s wrong with mom? I was just talking to my friend and why did she hit me?
What’s missing here? Communication. I did not tell her what was wrong about her behavior!!
Solution: First time warning. Explain the child what is wrong about their behavior and inform them that this is their first time warning. The next time they do this, they will face consequences. Needless to say, it only helps if there is follow through. 🙂
- Good points, Bad points: I am sure every parent notices the blank looks we get when we are explaining anything to the child. Then how do we explain good and bad behavior to our children?
Answer: Make it a game. Tell them that for every good behavior they get good points and for every bad behavior they get bad points. And on a regular basis when the kid collects good points, they can choose a predetermined reward and same way if the kid collects a certain number of bad points, then the parent can give out a predetermined punishment.
To give my example; our rule was for every 10 good points my child could choose a sweet/dessert and for every 10 bad points, she would get punishment, but we had not predetermined it, since I would decide that based on the mistakes.
I hope these ideas help!!
Remember: We are parents, we are not perfect!!
- Jignya S
- April 18, 2017
- 1 Comment