Tips on Guiding Children’s Behavior Given at Library Workshop
Monica Trombetta of the Milford Family & Community Network
The workshop was meant to encourage parents to step back and appreciate the whole picture. Some of the topics discussed included recognizing your child’s temperament and understanding how it influences your interactions with them.
Monica explained that there are nine types of temperaments, and while none are good or bad, they sometimes conflict the parents. She discussed using observation as a tool for identifying triggers for your child’s behavior within their temperament, setting developmentally appropriate limits as an aid for guiding behavior, and giving meaningful consequences.
She gave tips on managing behavior through prevention—putting out the fire before it has a chance to start. These include things like paying attention, being close in proximity, being predictable in scheduling, giving effective commands and having consequences prepared ahead of time.
Included in this was the PIES acronym for positive reinforcement: P for being positive and pleasant to the child, I for immediate response after the behavior occurs, E for every time the behavior occurs and S for specific praise.
Managing behavior through intervention included tips on such things as using distraction or redirection, setting limits and knowing the differences between natural, logical and positive consequences.
She suggested spending fifteen minutes of special time a day with your child in order to strengthen your relationship. At the end of the program, she encouraged parents to stay positive and, if you have a bad day, apologize, make up and keep going.