Monday 17 November 2008

Time Management and Children

Parents face their own challenges in regards to time. Some guidelines may be offered to parents in relation to time management:

A key approach with children is behavioural management. Children are not always inclined to reason and trying to negotiate with reactivity and irrationality can be one of the most time consuming activities of all. It is best to listen, acknowledge what has been said, then to gently insist on and enforce what is needed.

A 'rewards and penalties' system can work wonders. Some parents keep a board on the fridge and on a weekly basis tally up points for good and bad actions. The end score is used to decide on whether rewards are given or privileges are taken away. The key to the whole thing is logic and consistency and it is more effective if the system has been talked through in a family meeting before being instated.

Parents should ensure there is 'family time' each day. This should be a time that everyone looks forward to. Having times that are dedicated to the family might seem to eat into the week significantly. However, this time is important for children to feel wanted and acknowledged and are more likely to keep themselves busy at other times. Also, this can also lessen the time spent handling arguments and tantrums.

Children really do thrive on feeling that they can contribute and delegating tasks to them is something that should be done thoughtfully and with patience. This can boost a child's morale and self esteem.

A behavioural management system should be in place such as when getting ready for school in the morning, being on time for meals and other areas where children can slow the day down.

Parents should speak in a calm, normal voice with eye contact when giving instructions. That way there is 'somewhere to go' when there is a need to change the tone of voice to indicate displeasure. Parents who start off with an angry, escalated tone have nowhere to go, the children become desensitized demoralized because they start to think that their parents are always mad at them.

Some parents have found success with turning off everything electronic in the house if children's behaviour escalates. Some parents tell their children to read and draw or make things, while others are sent out to play. Often, the children immediately calm down and lose themselves in their new activities.

Parenting is a major part of some people's lives and can be successfully addressed as part of a time management process.

Source: Counselling Academy

No comments: