Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Like It!

"Brenda, how do I get my kids to mind?"

"Welcome to the club. All kids push the envelop. But, more important, sometimes they aren't sure what it is you want from them or how to please you."

It's helpful - and clear - to make children aware of how you feel when you want them to do something. For example, "I want you to pick up the trash." Leave responsibility for behavioral change with them and see what happens. Often they'll obey because they know exactly what you want from your "I message."
Likewise, you can say something like, "I like it when you chew with your mouth closed." Here, you've clearly expressed what makes you happy (and kids usually want to please parents or their caregiver) in a positive discipline technique. A proper "I message" identifies: the behavior - such as chewing - how it makes you feel - happy.
With young children, keep your "I message" short and simple, "I want you to ...." With teens, you can expand with something like, "When your music is on that loud I get upset because I can't hear who I'm talking to on the phone." Rather lengthy, but it clearly identifies the problematic behavior and how it impacts you. Again, leave responsibility for behavior change with them.
In your daily discipline, I encourage you to be precise and clear when correcting behavior. After all, I like it when you practice positive discipline because it makes me feel I'm building stronger families. *grins* Hey, remember to get your hour of empowerment by listening to my show, The Parent's Plate on your computer. Just click You can hear ANY show topic by clicking on Recent Shows (on right column).

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