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Praise your child for telling the truth or taking responsibility for his behavior. When he says things like, “I wouldn’t have hit her if she didn’t make me mad,” gently remind him that no one made him do anything and that he chooses how he behaves. Then, when he’s calm talk about what he can do differently the next time. To help the lesson stick, turn it into a challenge.
Tell your child that she’ll begin the week with 5 points, and each time she makes an excuse or tries to. Enforce the rules. Your kid relies on you to set boundaries with them, which includes enforcing the rules. You can’t expect your child to accept responsibility for your actions if you continually make exceptions for them. Holding them to the rules helps them realize that they must own up to things they’ve done.
Take a deep breath between your child’s behavior and your response. Rather than overreacting, forcing them to apologize, or take responsibility immediately, give everyone time to calm down. Make it safe to come forward with honesty. If/when your child does take responsibility, skip the lectures and resist the urge to pile on the punishments. Instead, acknowledge how hard it can be.
If you’ve been making excuses for your child’s behavior, you need to be straightforward in addressing the problem. The “Alternative Response” method in The Total Transformation Program is a helpful guideline to this kind of conversation. Sit down with your child and point out that whatever it is you’re doing now isn’t working any more.
Babies learn by watching you and by your response to their needs. Toddlers and older preschoolers can do some self care. Give your preschooler a few jobs to do each day. Celebrate your child’s milestones with praise and occasional rewards. You teach your children to be appreciative for what they have.
It is through the Executive Role that you hold your children accountable for their behavior, and that in turn, fosters the development of a sense of responsibility. To successfully train your kids to take ownership, you need to give them four things: love, rules, choices and consequences. They need your love to be able to tolerate the pain of learning responsibility.
They need rules – house rules, conduct rules, and social rules –so that they know what is right and wrong. Teach your child to be responsible for her interactions with others. When your daughter hurts her little brother’s feelings, don’t force her to apologize. She won’t mean it, and it won’t help him. First, listen to her feelings to help her work out those tangled emotions that made her snarl at him.
Require your kids to follow through with what they start. Help your children own age appropriate tasks and chores by enforcing consequences if they go undone. Help your kids learn to problem solve and ask questions when they feel powerless.
Discourage self-pity by having them think outside themselves. Don’t become the referee.
List of related literature:
|from The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships|
|from Defiant Children: A Clinician’s Manual for Assessment and Parent Training|
|from Paediatric Dentistry: Principles and Practice|
|from Principle-Based Stepped Care and Brief Psychotherapy for Integrated Care Settings|
|from Functional Movement Development Across the Life Span E-Book|
|from The Complementary Therapist’s Guide to Conventional Medicine E-Book: A Textbook and Study Course|
|from Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy|
|from Treatment Planning for Person-Centered Care: Shared Decision Making for Whole Health|
|from Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing: Second South Asian Edition|
|from Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits|