Changing Behaviors

Last week I said I was going to start showing you some chore charts, however, I was inspired to write something else, that will help those things along in the process.  I want to talk about behavior, and banishing the negative behaviors in our children.  However, it isn’t going to start with them.  It’s going to start with us.

As with everything, change takes time, and with busy buggies, and our busy selves, we should introduce one thing at a time.  Diets don’t work because we change them short-term and start with a shock to the system by suddenly yanking away from the bad and attempting to get into the good.  The same can be said for behavior.  Taking things one day at a time, is easier to handle, and easier to introduce into our lives.

Address the Issues

What kind of behavior are your buggies doing, and WHY are they doing it?  You ever feel like all you are doing is yelling.  And you’ll hear the same thing over and over about consistency and patience.  But, have you ever thought about why they are behaving this way?  Yes, my buggies are busy, but what is the real reason behind their behaviors.  Are they doing it because they are curios, or do they want attention…and attention any way they can get it?

Our reactions are attention.  Good or bad, it is attention none the less.  Any child is going to want this from us.  They whine, we nag at them to stop, they throw a temper tantrum we have another nag, or send them to their rooms and keep doing so because they won’t stay.  Each thing gets in, on, and around each and every nerve we have and the next thing we know, we aren’t nagging anymore, we’re yelling.  We’re reacting, and it is still attention to that buggy.

So, we need to control our reactions.  But how, when that awful whining siren is going off in the background?  Well, just like we tune out our husbands (just kidding), we need to tune out that annoying sound. It won’t be a quick fix, and we will have to consistently have patience.  Try to concentrate at the task at hand.  Zone out in what you need to do.  Now, if there is an actual problem, then yes intervene.  However, if they are whining and carrying on just to get your attention, then let it go.  If they are bickering, give them a chance to work it out themselves.

When our children hear us nag, they see a valid reason to whine.  While we may not whine, it is the same thing, in a child’s eyes, as nagging.  When we yell and scream to get them to behave, we are teaching them the same.  I can tell when I’ve yelled too much, because Beanie starts doing the same thing with her sisters.

Redirect

A lot of the time, we can actually redirect the behavior.  For instance, my buggies like to play with the bath soaps.  Making bubbles, seeing the colors, smelling the different smells of the soaps.  Taking these things out of the bathroom is added work to me, and not teaching the buggies what is important.  There is a time and place to use these things, and a way to use them.  It’s our job to teach them.  Allowing them to use these things, when it is time, gives them the feeling of power in their decisions to use these.  Helping them along with those things, teaches them how to use them properly as well.washing-dishes-1112077_1920

Lately, some of the biggest things we do is trying to baby and kid proof things.  We spend all this time, money, and effort to change an environment sheltering our children from everyday life, that we don’t take the time to teach the reasoning’s behind what these things are.  In a busy child, this curiosity burns at them until they fulfill this urge to see what it is, what it does, and so on.  So, teaching them that certain soaps are used for cleaning certain things.  Big people soap will burn and can hurt buggies, and chemicals are used by big people when cleaning to kill all the yuckies that can make us sick.  We use them when it is needed and we know when to clean to keep those yuckies away.

In using our chore charts, we are giving our buggies a visual aide on when to use these things.  Also by allowing them to help us, they learn how to do it.  Explaining that there are only certain things to use, how, and when.  Giving them the tools they need, allows us a slight break from the norm, but also teaches our buggies many valuable skills.

Take A Break

Most of us are under the impression the only way we can take a break is to get away from it all.  That isn’t always the case.  Sometimes we need to let the laundry and dishes sit, and get out there and spend the time playing with those buggies.  That doesn’t mean you have to spend the money on new things.  Use what is there.  Sit and play blocks or Lego’s or Barbie’s.  Whatever the case is, sometimes what your kids need is you.

Sometimes we get so involved in cleaning and other daily issues, that we forget the most important thing every buggy needs.  Well, we all need it.  Love and time to show it.

Point Out The Goods

Don’t just focus on what is being done wrong.  Sit down and figure out what is causing the problem, explain why your buggy should not do it.  However, we also throw around naughty and bad oh so often.  Part of the reason we call some of our buggies is because it describes them in a way that is not negative.  There is nothing wrong with being a busy buggy, and realizing there is a reason behind it helps us to figure out why.  When we take the time to point out all the good things our buggies do, they will focus on doing them more often than the “naughty” things.baby-84626_1920

We, as parents, also need to remember, what they are doing isn’t necessarily naughty.  I’m a curious mommy.  I like to look things up and know why things work or how they do.  My buggies are the same way, however they are expressing their curiosity a bit differently than I do.   Part of that is because they cannot read.  So, they experiment, challenge boundaries, or anything that will teach them about what something is and what it does.  Their creativity and imagination allows them to look at things sometimes in an abstract way.  A basket to me, is something I use to gather things and take care of them.  A basket to my buggy is what I use it for, as well as a tiger cage, a climbing apparatus, the ringmaster’s stage, a mini fort, and so on.

When our buggies are experimenting with these things, we should explain why you shouldn’t use the basket to stand on.  What can happen and why and or how it happens.  However, don’t stop there.  Congratulate them on their creativeness and their imagination.  “Your imagination is wonderful, Belly, you play tiger so well, I almost thought you were a real one.”  This way you aren’t focusing on the negative.  I used this example, because I’ve actually said this….often.  As well as, “No-no, Belly, you can’t sit on the basket with Do Bug under it.”

Re-Cap

Basically, when we’re looking at behaviors.  Whether it is bad behavior or implementing changes like chores, we need to look at ourselves.  Our buggies look up to us.  They will mimic us in any way they can.  They want to be like us, and they want us to see they can be like us.  Address your issues first.  That worry bug may be worried because you may be exuding worry, yourself.  That busy bug may be doing naughty things because they want attention, and know they can get a rise out of you.  Or maybe they are just as curious as you are.  Figure the reason behind, and go from there.  Explain why you should or should not do things.  And, as always, make it consistent.  Be patient and calm.  You can do this.  And you’ll be amazed at the outcome.

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