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Are You Worn down by Your Child?

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

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Worn down by children?

New parents are often distressed to discover that parenting is unbelievably hard and they can sometimes feel that they just can’t cope anymore. But it’s incredibly common and nothing to be ashamed of. If you are in this predicament Developmental Psychologist Katie Woodland has one key piece of advice to help improve your situation so you can enjoy a lifetime ahead with your child.

The main thing you need to do is to work out what one thing you would like to change about the way your child is behaving. The one thing that will make such a huge difference in your life it wouldn't matter if everything else stayed the same. Then flip that negative thing you want stopped into a positive statement that you want to see happen. For example, you want your child to stop swearing - what you want to see is your child talk kindly to you. Then create a very simple phrase around this one thing, such as: "from now on everyone in this house will talk kindly to each other. If I forget I will... and if you forget what could you give up? If we both manage to get until the end of the day being kind to each other then we can have..."

Pick something you want and get your child to pick something they want. You might choose to watch 15 minutes of TV uninterrupted or some playtime with a favourite toy. It doesn't matter - it just matters that you do it together.

The most important thing to remember is to act every time they forget. No warnings. Instant repercussions (and likewise if a swear word slips out of your mouth…). And likewise you must always reward the good behaviour. It's not actually the 'punishment' that changes the behaviour it's the reward for all the times they get it right that motivates them to do it right again.


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