5 ways to help the child of divorce with behavior issues


5 Ways

Have you ever wondered if as adults we talk too much to children who are misbehaving? We explain, rationalize and think they are listening. However, most children will tune you out after a few seconds. The following tips will help you to use fewer words but still positively impact a child’s behavior.

  1. Preventative measures work best. Know in advance what you want the kids to do. Use as few words as possible.
    We are going to play this next game outside. Then we will come back to our room for snack.
  1.  Tell a child what you want them to do. Refrain from telling them what you don’t want them to do.
    Instead of, “No running in the hall.”
    Say, “Walk down the hall.”
  1. Use the child’s name as much as possible. Research tells us that hearing one’s own name in everyday situations is an attention grabber. It causes a sudden rise in our own self-awareness. Using PET scans; researchers were able to see what happens in the brain when people hear their first name. There was an increase in blood flow to the part of the brain that plays a role in our processing of “self” (Perrin, F. et al. [2005] Neuropsychologia, Vol 43[1], 12-19).
  1.  When requesting a child to do something reframe how you make the request. Keep things simple by saying the child’s name and the verb.
    Ashley, sit down.
    Alex, move one space.
    Cierra, Shh.
    Roman, wait your turn.
  1. Describe a child’s action instead of praising a child.
    Would you look at that; Samantha, you put the lids back on the markers.
  1. If a child has challenging behaviors many times they can’t handle praise. When praised they may set out to prove you wrong so it is best to merely describe what the child did. If you feel you need to tag the action, say,
“That was helpful.”
Please don’t say, “Good job.” Or “Good boy”.


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