These are two techniques Kristie and I use constantly, truly almost unconsciously, to help “motivate” our children to improve their behavior. Because…let’s be honest, sometimes kids just don't want to listen. As many of you may know, these methods are based solely on our experience of raising four beautiful, loving, and incredibly demanding children. For some, you may be asking how we survive, but the truth is we thrive and have an incredibly loving home. We want to share these two quick tips because it just might make your day a little easier. Besides the almost endless patience my beautiful bride and I have, these two tips are the foundation to our daily successes. We developed these methods initially with Gabe and have continued to refine them for all four of children.
Tip 1: Provide a choice (this technique was also mentioned by one of our followers a while back). An example of implementation is the daily choice Kristie and I provide Gabe for selecting his nightly pajamas. For a short time in the past, bedtime and putting pajamas on Gabe was no easy feat, but once Kristie and I consistently provided Gabe with a choice between two sets of pajamas. Gabe began accepting his pajamas and eventually bedtime significantly easier with him. While this is clearly one quick example of the implementation of this technique the applications are endless. When you provide your children the opportunity to feel in control, they respond better to the situation at hand. This technique is also extremely helpful in a wide variety of applications and Kristie is the master of adapting this methodology to fit any situation. It all starts with clearly providing choices for your children to understand and holding them accountable for the decisions they make. Kristie kindly reminds them to “Make the right choice” or “Make the correct choice” or some other combination of words that remind our loving children even in the loudest shouts of a temper tantrum they still have a choice. While, yes I admit that this clearly seems obvious. Just like “Remain Calm” in the presence of danger is clearly obvious, the execution and continual application is more difficult than it seems. Providing clearly defined choices (which your child can understand) and creating the opportunity for your child to carry out these decisions is tricky and yet so simple in assisting in the transition from a meltdown to a causal conversation.
Tip 2: The mantra “first this then that” learn it and live by it. You may not initially see the power in this tip, but with some practice and perfect execution it will pay dividends. Kristie and I are constantly working and enforcing “first this than that.” An example would be, “first three bites of broccoli then lemonade,” (watered down of course).
This is one of hundreds of examples, but it is the template and execution of this technique that is the most important. First, understand clearly what motives your child. Second, clearly define what you want them to do/accomplish and then continuously work that technique. While, yes, I do understand that children can seemingly be unreasonable at times, I don’t believe this to be entirely true. Children clearly have a thought process for accomplishing tasks, it is our understanding of what they are feeling complicates things. Yes, I understand Kristie and I are not physiologists and we do not have any medical degrees and the long term sides effects of these two tips have not been scientifically proven. However, in real life these techniques work constantly and consistently everyday. Gabe particularly responds well to both of these techniques used throughout the day. Each day continues Gabe continues to exceed every expectations with his understanding of our world. Hopefully these two quick tips help you and be sure hit us on on social media if we can help you with anything else!