Winning Teens and Children Over
1. Move parents from being bosses to leaders.
2. Move children to become contributors.
3. Encourage regularly. Encouragement is the basis of life, and is required for us to function. Encouragement separates the deed from the doer. Discouragement is the basic cause for misbehavior. Encouragement accepts children as fine as they are, mistakes and all. Encourage young people by pointing out their contributions, efforts, or usefulness. Learn the language of encouragement, “I enjoy being with you,” “Nice effort,” or “I can see you put much effort in to…” Work for improvement not perfection.
4. Misbehavior is directed toward a goal.
5. Most common goals of misbehavior include attention, service, power, revenge, inadequacy and fun and excitement.
6. Most effective ways to help a child with his/her behavior are: reduce the usefulness of the behavior, and encourage the child to develop an adequate view of self and other.
7. Develop a variety of techniques to reduce the usefulness of misbehavior.
8. Avoid rewards and punishment. Eventually they make the misbehavior worse. They teach children to be extrinsic, to do things for the reward or avoid ridicule. They do not teach children to meet the demands of the situation and develop self-reliance. The child may even resist or punish people if not rewarded for doing and everyday life task. In the end, rewards and punishment lose the child’s cooperation.
9. Instead of bribes and punishment a child needs the opportunity to learn from logical and natural consequences in a friendly atmosphere. Logical consequences are not intended as punishment but are used to teach youngsters the logical order of life. Logical and natural consequences are an experience in problem-solving, decision-making, and self-discipline. They create and atmosphere of freedom with order.
10. Have family meetings regularly. Use group discussion regularly (family meetings) to solve problems and stimulate development of responsibility-taking and cooperation. The more youngsters are involved in the decision making as dignified partners, the more responsible they become; the more they feel that they belong and have a safe place. A time to talk and influence is when there is a warm and friendly relationship rather than a power struggle. Regular family meetings and open discussions build positive family relations.
11. Treat mistakes as opportunities to learn and a chance to do it again. Instill in the youngster the courage to be imperfect.
12. Avoid pampering. Pampering steals initiative and self confidence from young people. The rule of thumb is doing nothing for the child regularly so that he or she can do for himself or herself.
13. Avoid coerciveness. The pampering parent provides undue service, while the autocratic parent attempts to force the child to behave and meet the parent’s demands. This results in either children who think there is something wrong with them or they attempt to defeat the parent by fighting and doing the opposite of the parent’s demands.
14. Show physical affection to your children. A simple hug can be encouraging.
15. Have fun together regularly. This strengthens the family and gets everyone through the difficult times.
16. Learn the principals of conflict resolution. Transform your conflict into opportunity.