Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Do Rules Relax Too?
Bye-bye Bad Behavior
A friend of mine recently commented that she felt her children needed a “behavior boot camp” to wipe out bad attitudes and talking back. She found success in just a couple days of reminding her kids of her expectations. I think sometimes a behavior backslide is at the root of my desire for routine. We let the routine go, then maybe we bend some of the rules, and B has trouble knowing what to expect and acting accordingly. I have no desire to be uber-scheduled or living by my day-planner (I don’t even own one). My new plan for balance is this: summer days will continue to be joyfully free, unplanned, and spontaneous, but we’re going to take lazy out of the equation. When we get up in the morning (or sometimes just before bed) B and I will discuss our plans for the day. We’ll have something to anticipate and look forward to, as well as expectations to adhere to. I think it will make the days happier for both of us.
If your summer plans include travel (we have several small trips planned), routines can be hard to come by and behavior an even bigger challenge. Laying out plans and expectations are even more helpful away from home, and that I can say from experience. When B knows what the day holds, dealing with the less fun stuff (car rides, waiting in line, etc) is mitigated by the anticipation of the fun stuff (visiting attractions, seeing friends and family). New experiences also tend to cause a bit of regression in all of us, but especially preschoolers and toddlers – it’s hard to act like a big boy when anxiety is making you want to crawl in mommy’s lap. Getting a heads-up on the people or places you’ll encounter may help the day go more smoothly for your little one. It works wonders for B.
Please Say Please! – It’s a Book, It’s a Game!
Please Say Please! Penguin’s Guide to Manners is a fun book that can help your child remember and practice her manners and social development skills. In the story, Penguin has invited several friends to his house for a dinner party. On each page, the reader is presented with a scenario, “When a chimpanzee wants more to at,” and a possible animal behavior, “she should grab what she wants. Gimme, Gimme!” Followed by the question, “Is that right?” The answer is no every time, but you can make a game out of suggesting an appropriate behavior before you turn the page for the author’s suggestion, “please pass the bananas.” This is a great way to reinforce the expectations at your house and discuss that other people or situations may require different behaviors. The author Margery Cuyler, covers 11 dinner and social gathering behaviors, including trying new foods, talking with one’s mouth full, and greetings and good-byes. B got a lot of laughs out of the “bad” animal behaviors, and did a great job of correcting them.
Appropriate for preschoolers, primary grades.
Linking up with What My Child is Reading this Week