Begin at the beginning!

If there is ever a time when it all becomes extremely overwhelming, remember to simply step back, take a deep breath and start again.  Begin at the beginning.

Step 1:  Pick one behavior you wish to focus on.

Step 2: Have a conversation with your child about the behavior, explaining feelings and expectations.   Devise a simple plan to help you both succeed.

Step 3: Implement the plan.

Step 4: Praise! Validate! Reward!

I was recently trying to stop my kids from asking for impulse items at the Supermarket. About a week before my next outing, I sat with each of them and told them that some parents may find it OK to have their kids screaming down the supermarket aisle and or tugging at their sleeves at the check-out stand.  However, it embarrasses me when that happens.  I gave examples of embarrassment – to my 8 year old I reminded him of the time he asked me to stop kissing him at drop-off at school in the mornings.  To my 17 year old I described the time I met the “love of her life” and my ensuing interrogation.

My plan of action…

  • I purchased a small white board and mounted on a wall in foyer near the laundry room.
  • Whenever anyone ran out of an item or wanted a new item, they were instructed to write it on the board.
  •  When making my grocery list, I always included and purchased the item they requested.

I piled on the praise and affirmations of their effort, each time a child wrote on the white board.  At the Supermarket, sometimes I purchased more than one, especially if was a treat, and promised the second or third as a part of a reward at a later date.   It was amazing to see how quickly this plan worked!  My grocery shopping trips are much more enjoyable now!