14 strategies parents need to know
If you plan to bring your child to the store, a movie, or on any outing, be sure to have a conversation beforehand about the needful behavior of the day. If children know beforehand, it gives you more freedom later to explain consequences and respect. Otherwise, they can simply and truthfully tell you they didn't know any better. Respecting our children creates respect in all aspects. For example, let them know that they can choose only one treat at the store and if they ask for a second treat, the first treat will be put back on the shelf. This limits argument in public places, which often creates frustration in the parent, leading to incidents that are embarassing and hurtful to all involved.
Story: Every Sunday the Ramdoo family go to the temple for Ganesha puja. Mr. and Mrs. Ramdoo always take a little time to tell Siven, (age 7) and Purna (age 5) that the temple is a special place and to remind them of the expected behaviors inside the temple walls. During their family meeting, they let the children write out a list of things that are OK to do and things that are not OK. Then they have the children write down a list of things they could do during the puja that would help them to sit quietly. One Sunday, Purna decided to bring her favorite doll to hold, and Siven brought his favorite toy car. He learned in advance that he could not push the car on the floor but he could hold it in his lap and play with the tires. Because it was Chaturthi, Siven and Purna also decided to each make five drawings for Ganesha as a gift to Him on His special day.
The family agreed on certain hand signals (not threatening looks) to let the children know without words if their actions were appropriate or not. There were signals of encouragement that made their faces light up! And there was a gesture that warned them that if unacceptable behavior persisted there would be consequences. That was also agreed upon at the family meeting.
TEXT & STORY BY KAVITA MARDEMOOTOO
The twins in the photo are showing the famous thumbs up sign of encouragement that many parents use when children are following the ground rules. Hand signals empower you, the parent, to privately guide behavior in public situations. Be careful not to point fingers at each other, for that is a threatening gesture that is counter to Positive Discipline.