Tips for Parents

When you take children shopping, schedule time for them to be at their favourite store, rather than just yours. Do your shopping first. Make it clear that their cooperation on that part of the trip will increase the amount of time available for their part of the trip.

Like a driving instructor correcting a student, try to stay calm while dealing with children's behaviour. To be in control of children, you have to be in control of yourself.

It's important to give children feedback when they do jobs well. Sometimes, a simple thank you is enough especially when combined with a smile. If you use praise, keep it reasonable and make sure it's sincere.

When you take your children to a shopping mall, plan to leave while they are still behaving well. Too many parents keep shopping until their children are having a crisis. All the stress and negativity end up spoiling what could have been a pleasant experience.

Boys tend to store information in point form. When a disagreement occurs, personal actions are rarely important enough to start a list, so reports of incidents always start with someone else's actions. To know the whole story, you always have to find the missing point.

When children interrupt, put out your hand and signal them to stop. Resist the temptation to look at them and give them a lecture. The reason is that eye contact initiates conversation. The moment your eyes meet theirs, they will begin to tell you whatever they wanted to say, regardless of your lecture.

Mother and Child

Instead of arguing about homework every night, try setting up a routine. Get your children into the habit of doing a certain amount of homework each night whether they bring work home from school or not. If they don't have schoolwork, then they read. A good rule of thumb for the amount of time that they should spend on homework is 10 minutes per grade. Hence, a grade 6 student would have 60 minutes of homework time.

Most adults believe that rewards are positive and penalties are negative. In sports, however, taking a penalty to accomplish something (such as stopping the clock, or stopping a breakaway) is called taking a "good penalty." That's the way kids see the consequence system. Sometimes, taking penalties is just part of the game. That's why adults shouldn't rely on penalties alone to govern the behaviour of children. They often don't have the desired effect.

When children get bored, they look for entertainment--and pestering a sibling is entertainment. To avoid this problem during car trips, keep a "trip box" in your car full of books and games. Young children can also read road signs, play games with licence plates, play a "Treasure Hunt" game by looking out the window to find items on a list, do arithmetic brainteasers, listen to music on their devices, etc.

If you lower your voice when dealing with a child, the child will think that you are in full control of yourself, and, therefore, you must be in full control of him. If you keep raising your voice, the child will think that he is gaining control and so will push to see if you will give up.

"May I ..." is much more than simple courtesy. By using this phrase, a child is saying, "I know that you are in charge here and I need your permission to do this." These two simple words stop most power plays between adults and children.