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Wednesday, November 24

BABY, Behave!

Your child needs your guidance to learn good behaviour, so knowing when to say ' no ' is crucial

AGES and STAGES : What your child understands ?
  • 6 - 12 months - There's no dubt that at this age your child begins to understand the words 'yes' and 'no' and also to recognise when you're annoyed with her. However, this doesn't mean you can expect her to do what you ask.
  • 18 months - The typical toddler likes to draw the line herself and rejects attempts to do this for her. Resistance to rules can be fierce, and many parents feel they face a constant struggle.
  • 2 years - She's full of her own importance and expects you do as she wants, not the other way round. Because she lacks patience, she can explode with frustration the instant she hears 'no'.
  • 3 years - Your child now realises she isn't the only one who is expected to behave properly - everyone at home needs to think of others, too. She tries harder to conform as she's keen to please you.
  • 4 years - She may become something of a disciplinarian now, and ready to tell you off for putting your feet on the chair or for leaving a used mug on the floor. She realises the rules apply to everybody, not only to her.
  • 5 years + ; By now, your child is so aware of the way she's expected to behave that she can usually do this without a reminder from mum or dad. In fact, your child often draws the line herself now.

It's never easy to draw the line in a confrontation with your child. Know when to stand your ground, and how to do so effectively.

  1. ALWAYS PRAISE GOOD BEHAVIOUR. A cuddle when your child does what you ask him to will encourage him to do the same next time. Praise for good behaviour is always more effective than punishment for naughty behaviour.
  2. EXPLAIN YOUR RULES. He's more likely to do as you ask if he understands why. Use terms he can understand, for example, "Don't touch that because it could hurt you and make you cry".
  3. HAVE CONFIDENCE. You're the parent, after all. Even though he still challenges you , trust yourself to know that you're being reasonable and sensible.
  4. USE DIVERSIONS. Rather than saying an outright "no" , try to distract your child, or find a different way round the problem.
  5. GIVE LOTS OF ATTENTION. Make sure to spend as much time as you possibly can with your child, so that he doesn't feel the need to misbehave just to get noticed.
  6. STAY IN CONTROL. Children can sometimes create a fuss just for the sake of getting a heated reaction. It's important to keep calm when provoked. Say firmly, "I'm not going to talk to you until you stop being silly."
  7. KEEP LOOKING FORWARD. You'll feel terrible at the end of a day in which you spent most of the time reprimanding your child. Everybody has days like that. Put it behind you and look forward positively to tomorrow.
  8. ANTICIPATE YOUR CHILD'S BEHAVIOUR. If you know your three-year-old becomes irritable in the hour before bedtime because he's so tired, think about bringing bedtime forward a little, or reading him an extra story, to avoid a crists altogether.
  9. WALK AWAY. There may be times when you're so fed up with constant battles that you feel ready to explode. That's normal. Instead of shouting, walk into another room for a couple of minutes until you calm down.
  10. DEAL WITH INCIDENTS AS THEY HAPPEN. You can't expect a young child to remember what he's done wrong hours after it's happened. Deal with it immediately - then let it go.

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