Deirdre O’Sullivan, Project Worker with Wicklow Child & Family Project is back with more helpful suggestions for families looking for support on how to cope with homeschooling and social distancing.
Tip #3 – Challenging Behaviours??? What to do????
This is a challenging time for all of us especially for our children. We are our children’s life long teachers and as such it is up to us to show them how to cope. When a family is under stress or children are unsure and out of the norm they tend to act out. This is normal. How you manage this behaviour needs to be CONSISTENT.
- Step 1 ~ Give a warning remembering to call their name and tell them what they are doing wrong. Don’t just shout stop it means nothing to them.
- Step 2 ~ If the behaviour continues; remove them from the game or activity making sure you say why! Do NOT send your child away keep them in sight, get them to sit nearby and think about what they did. Time should reflect age: 3 mins for a 3yr old and so on.
- Step 3 ~ Acknowledge their feelings for example you might say “I know you’re mad because they took your ball, but in this house we do not hit”.
- Step 4 ~ Help them return to the activity. Get on their level, again acknowledging their feelings, reminding them that what they did was not nice. Ensure that you refer to the behaviour negatively not the child. Ask them if they would like to go back and play. Should they refuse encourage them to do so. Opting out only give them an excuse not to deal with issues.
- Step 5 ~ Again, acknowledge that it must have been very hard for them to say sorry but praise them for being brave and doing it anyway. This teaches your child that while it’s ok to be wrong sometimes it’s important to say sorry.
- Step 6 ~ Should the behaviour continue it might result in a consequence, again being consistent. The consequence should reflect the behaviour and the age of the child. Grounding till 40 never worked for anyone.
Idea for Today
Sit down with your family maybe over dinner and explain to them that it is very difficult what you are going through at the moment but that you will make sure you get through it together.
Stay safe and have FUN