The behaviorally Challenged child
∙ Avoid comparing your children with each other. Each child is unique in his/her own way.
∙ Identify and understand the unique limits and strengths of each child.
∙ Try to see the humor in things.
∙ Dwell on positives not failures.
∙ Try to start the day off with a positive for your child. Make a list of all the things that make you proud of your child…post it in a prominent place
Advice Giving
∙ Avoid soliciting too much advice from people. You can find yourself overloaded with conflicting information.
∙ Know what you are looking for in others when soliciting advice. Are you looking for support (someone to listen to you) or answers to your problems. If you are looking for support, it could be frustrating for you and that other person when you are trying to ventilate and they are giving you solutions.
∙ Role model the behavior you are expecting from your child. If you do not want him/her to swear, that means curbing your own language.
∙ Instead of saying no all the time, try something different. Switch objects, vary messages (too high, hot, not for baby). This strengthens the No message.
∙ Offer choices. When you do this, then this will happen. Rely on natural consequences. Do not feel the need to always be creative in giving consequences.
∙ Avoid power struggles. Children need to accept that there are going to be consequences they will not like or feel is fair.
∙ Set clear limits with consequences. Let your child know the consequences ahead of time.
∙ Impose consequences as soon as possible.
∙ Limit length of time for time outs. Usually one minute for each year of age.
∙ Avoid rigidity.
∙ Don’t apply consequences that you feel more than the child (grounding him/her and having to stay home and monitor them).
Day to Day
∙ Make things easier for yourselves. Hire a cleaning service. Swap baby sitting. Have your groceries delivered. Have a neighborhood youth mow your lawn or shovel your walk.
∙ Expand your resources. This includes finding baby sitters, and/or joining a mother’s, fathers’s, and/or parent group. Explore your options with your church or synagogue.
∙ Family and friends are a necessity, not a luxury.
∙ Take care of yourself. Their nap time is your nap time. You could also spend time working out at the Health Club. Plan your meals well.
∙ Accept the fact that there are changes you need to adjust to. Your house may not be as clean as it used to be. Dishes may not get done as soon as you would like.
Marriage and Parenthood
∙ Look at parenthood/marriage as a cooperative venture. Apply team work (giving each other breaks).
∙ Look for or create your own windows of opportunity to do things. Accept the fact that now that you have children, free time does not come as easy. You may not be able to go out with the boys/girls on a weekly basis, but if you plan ahead, an evening out once in awhile will help.
∙ Make sure your relationship keeps going strong. Call each other during the day. Leave a message to let your spouse know you are thinking of them. Buy a little gift, leave a note in their lunch box or briefcase.
∙ Wake up ½ hour earlier to greet the day together…quietly.
∙ Avoid having one parent do all the disciplining.