Friday, February 25, 2011

Helping Your Child Transition Activities

How well does your child transition from one activity to another? If your child has difficulty moving from, say playing to dinner try these tips:
  1. Give them notice: Give little Sally a five minute heads up! "Sally, five minutes until dinner. Get ready to put your toys away!"
  2. Use a timer. "Jeremy, when the timer goes off, that means it's time to go wash your hands and come to dinner." 
  3. Paint them a picture. No, not with acrylics or oils. Help them get a picture of what's going on next. For instance, "After this game we are going to go visit Nanny and Grandpa and play in their backyard together!"
  4. Create routines. Create routines for the daily transitions such as getting ready in the morning, mealtime and bedtime. Routines help the child to feel more secure. 
Let's think about this. You probably don't enjoy being ripped away from something when you are in the middle of it either. Neither do children. Sometimes just a little prevention on our parts can make transitioning from one task to another some much better for everybody!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Have Time To Negotiate With Your Child?

Some children want to negotiate everything! Parents just don't have time to negotiate everything, nor should they. Children should have some things that are negotiable, like where they want to do their homework, what to have for dinner, or what pajamas they wear to bed. They should also have some things that are not negotiable, like doing their homework, wearing their seat belt, or going to bed at a certain time.

It is helpful for the parent to say at the beginning of the communication, "This is negotiable, or this is not negotiable". In this way, the child knows ahead of time which one it is, and as a result this phrase will cut down your arguing dramatically. This will be especially true if you "stick to your guns" when you say "this is not negotiable".

For more on negotiation watch my short video: