Set a Good Example and Promote Good Behaviour; Dealing with Your Child's Tantrums and Challenging Behaviour Is One of the Most Stressful Parts of Being a Parent. Doris Crossman, an Award-Winning Parenting Officer Who Works on the Welsh Government's Flying Start Programme, Shares Her Tips on Encouraging Good Behaviour

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 12, 2017 | Go to article overview

Set a Good Example and Promote Good Behaviour; Dealing with Your Child's Tantrums and Challenging Behaviour Is One of the Most Stressful Parts of Being a Parent. Doris Crossman, an Award-Winning Parenting Officer Who Works on the Welsh Government's Flying Start Programme, Shares Her Tips on Encouraging Good Behaviour


Byline: Doris Crossman

| KEEP CALM I believe the word "naughty" is overused.

Challenging behaviour is often about young children learning to regulate their emotions and working out what behaviour is acceptable.

Young children just need to learn to calm down, so calmly discuss with them where they'd like to calm down (eg. behind the sofa or under a blanket) so they feel part of the process, and give them a calming activity (eg. cwtching a favourite teddy).

| SHOPPING WITHOUT THE STROPPING Shopping is a known tantrum-inducer, so it's understandable parents may opt to avoid "big shops" with the little one in tow. But that's not always practical and it doesn't deal with the underlying problem.

I recommend parents do "practice shops", where they take their child into a supermarket to practise being there.

Praise them when they are behaving positively and keep them interested, discussing what they can see and hear. As they mature, you can encourage them to help you with your shopping list.

| DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF Bad behaviour is often about gaining your attention, so ignoring the unwanted behaviour and then giving attention to the behaviour we want more of gives a clear message.

Whether your child is shouting, screaming, hitting or biting, take them somewhere safe (not in a separate room) to calm down. Try to avoid eye contact, keep your voice calm and soothing, and be firm in your resolve to keep them there until they have calmed down enough.

Then go back to playing with their toys, for example, so they gain positive attention for appropriate behaviour. Be warned, this process may initially take a while.

| SMACKING CAN TURN THINGS INTO A MAJOR BATTLE Children aren't born able to calm themselves down and think things through. We need to model this behaviour for them.

I get asked about smacking a fair amount from parents. I ask them how it makes them feel if they've smacked a child, and how they think it makes the child feel.Their response is rarely positive. So we look at different ways to manage challenging behaviour.

They usually feel better. There is always another way.

| DON'T SHOUT AND KEEP IT CLEAR When you're overtired and dealing with challenging behaviour, logic can often go out of the window.

But we need to practise the behaviour we want from them.

Remember, there is no point in shouting - not only is it potentially damaging to their development, but young children simply don't understand it.

The same goes for trying to reason with a baby or toddler. When you are asking them to do something, use simple words they will understand and break tasks into small steps. …

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Set a Good Example and Promote Good Behaviour; Dealing with Your Child's Tantrums and Challenging Behaviour Is One of the Most Stressful Parts of Being a Parent. Doris Crossman, an Award-Winning Parenting Officer Who Works on the Welsh Government's Flying Start Programme, Shares Her Tips on Encouraging Good Behaviour
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