Not sure how you can get through the next few days or perhaps months staying at home? There will be so many days that you will feel defeated. Fret not, here are a few things that you must know to make staying at home a breeze for you and your kids.

Get your kids to listen to you!I learned these things from Positive Parenting Expert, Amy McCready during an online session on getting your kids to listen to you while you are staying at home.

But before we get into the strategies, here’s a quote that all parents must engrave in their hearts.

“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first, we have to make them feel worse? – Jane Nelsen, EDD

Things I learned and 5R strategy to ensure kids listen to you, now and always :

  1. Effective parenting starts with a clean-state vision. Don’t worry if you have been yelling at them in the past. Start afresh…
  2. Every human being irrespective of their age has some emotional needs that are fulfilled through attention and power and significance. Kids are no different.
  3. The quality of attention has gone down, and the quantity of attention has gone up. Chances are that with so much chaos, our kids are not getting the positive attention they need but they aren’t able to ask for it or even articulate what they want. So, they instead seek attention through their behavior – whining, clinging, and acting helpless.
  4. The need for independence and power is universal. With kids’ life being disrupted, they are totally at loss of power. That explains their behavior at times.
  5. Don’t let your kid’s behavior trigger you. We cannot fix our child’s behavior if we get triggered by their behavior. In fact, kids continue to misbehave if their misbehavior works for them and triggers them, and in return gets them the attention they are seeking.
  6. Human beings are born with free will. A command and control strategy is not sustainable in the long term. Allow your kids to make decisions but there is a way to indirectly control and make them learn how to make decisions (the 5R strategy talks about that)
  7. Punishment is not equal to discipline. Punishment is Blame, Shame, and Pain. Discipline done with them instead of punishment done to them always works better.
  8. Follow the 5R Strategy
    • Respectful – Have a respectful conversation with kids about their behavior that bothers you. This conversation should typically happen during dinner time or any other time when you are not triggered
    • Related – Make sure the consequence is related to the misbehavior (explained below.)
    • Reasonable – The consequence doesn’t have to be harsh. It should reasonable enough
    • Revealed – Reveal consequences in advance so they are fully informed
    • Repeat – Get kids to repeat so that you are on the same page with your kids and there is a verbal agreement in place

The above strategy will be clear once you go through the below example.

Here’s a script that works like magic. Tweak it as per the problem and situation.

Problem: My kid doesn’t eat healthy food. He/she insists on junk food all the time.

Firstly, speak to them when you are in a good state of mind (not triggered).
Let them know your concern (not in an accusatory way) – I’ve noticed that you’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately and that is not good for you. [be calm and have a smile on your face]. In the future, my expectation is that we should eat home-cooked healthy meals and limit pizzas and burgers. I am sure we are not going to have any issues with this but if you choose to not follow the rule, then am afraid, you won’t be able to eat pizza burgers, etc. even once a week. Just so that we are on the same page, can you tell me the new rule and the consequence for not following the rule?

All 5 Rs are taken care of in the above script. Tweak this as per the problem you face. You’ve given the power in their hands. Hence you are ending the power struggles.

This should be the beginning of effective parenting during quarantine. Keep watching this space for more information.

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