Is there whining and temper tantrums in your house? Do you have to ask your children repeatedly to “help” or “pick something up?” Do your kids misbehave or talk back?
Do you want it to stop? Believe it or not, spending One-on-one time with our children, will drastically change our child’s behavior for the better.
The GOAL: Spend 15 minutes of ONE-ON-ONE-TIME a day, with each of your children.
Why? Kids need and want attention. When they are not getting enough positive attention, they misbehave. Why? It gets them attention. Their reasoning, “my mom won’t play a game of CandyLand with me, but, if I color on the walls with my markers, then she will have to pay attention to me”. It doesn’t matter if it is negative attention because in their eyes, it is still attention.
When we give our children positive attention, they won’t have the need to misbehave to get us to notice them. And, when we spend time connecting with our children it provides them with security. They feel safe in their relationships with us and with their place in the family. This will also lead to improved behavior.
Here’s how it works:
1. Give each child 15 minutes of ONE-ON-ONE-TIME everyday. You want to focus on each child individually, so don’t combine your children’s time.
2. This is uninterrupted time. That means, no computers, no TV, and no cell phones. Don’t play Chutes and Ladders while you are checking your email on your phone (not that I have ever done that).
3. Let your children choose the activities. Ask your kids what they want to do. This gives them a choice. It makes them feel in-charge and that they have some control. This is really important to making this ONE-ON-ONE-TIME work. If we tell them what they will do, they feel forced.
Help your child make a list of the things they would like to do during their ONE-ON-ONE-TIME. That way when it is time to be together, you can refer to the list and not waste any time having fun.
Just this week, our 7 year old daughter wanted to “write stories’ for her one-on-one time. All I could think about was the housework that needed to be done and the papers I needed to grade. I sat down with pens and paper in front of me and we started to talk and write. We made up silly stories and took turns illustrating each other’s ideas. Then we started laughing, harder than I have laughed in months. I forgot about all about the housework. Instead, I noticed our daughter’s smile, and her easy laugh. I realized what a creative mind she has, and we talked about ALL the things going on at school. When we finished, she gave me a hug and kiss and said “thanks mom, that was really fun”.
4. Be consistent. This is not a one time occurrence. One-on-one time needs to happen everyday, always. We need to make a personal commitment to spending this time together, and make sure it happens.
Looking to transform negative behavior? Spend one-on-one time with your children. Not only will their behavior change, but your relationship will be strengthened at the same time. It’s a win win.
Do you think you can do this?
What makes it hard to find time to be with our kids?