UNC Greensboro Professor, Dr. Gabriela Stein joined Mike to discuss strategies to help increase the likelihood that our preschoolers and toddlers will listen to what we ask of them. Dr. Stein is a clinical psychologists and the mom of two young children. She resides with her family in Cary, North Carolina.
REASONS CHILDREN DO NOT COMPLY
REASONS CHILDREN DO NOT COMPLY
- Research shows that the average child listens to 60-80% of parent commands
- Child may not have heard request
- May not anticipated transition
- Child may be engaged in doing something else and want to continue doing it
- With defiance they look like they heard you and made eye contact, but said no
- Could just be distracted and did not completely hear request
- Sometimes two many commands are given at once and it is overwhelming to the child
- Give commands in an effective way
- Make sure you make eye contact when giving commands
- Keep command short with a word or short phase
- Commands can be confusing ex. Giving a command in a question form. "Why don't you put on your shoes." Better- It is time for us to put on our shoes.
- Sometimes we mistakenly include selves in command. A parent may say, "We are going to clean up our toys," when they really mean that the child should clean up the toys.
- Should be clear and concise with eye contact
- Structured routines also help increase compliance
- Children like routines and knowing what is coming next.
- You do want to set limits and be direct with what you are requesting "It is time to put your shoes on."
- Notice when children comply and acknowledge that compliance
- Be specific and descriptive when you praise. "I like how you came up quickly to brush your teeth" rather than "Good boy!"
- Be specific what the consequences will be for not complying
- It is important to follow through on the consequences you give
- Can plan potential consequences ahead of time
- Consequences should be age appropriate and should be related to what is happening and natural
- Modeling emotions is very helpful. Ex. I feel frustrated, I am disappointed
- Give them the vocabulary for how they are feeling
- Social emotional development is one of the best predictors of academic success for children
- Can identify emotions in books you are reading together
- All emotions are natural and should not be labeled good or bad
- It is okay to feel angry or frustrated, but should teach children how we handle those emotions in an appropriate way
- Also should try to figure out the real reasons behind the emotion
- Children want to feel that we hear them and want the emotions acknowledged
- Validating a feeling does not mean you have to agree with it
- Giving children choice allows them to have control over situation
- Ex. Would you rather walk to the bathroom like a bear or rabbit?
- Choice also helps children with decision making and promotes independences
- Alerting children and giving warning time before a transition can help kids move better from one activity to the next
- Also a good time to engage children in what they are doing and can bring the activity to a natural conclusion
- Enjoy your children and have fun with them
- We often get frustrated when we are rushing around
- Children will be better listeners if they see you as someone who will provide fun and joy to their lives
- Spend time playing with children each day