Behavior Changes for 2016 by Anne Jaroszewicz
Sticking with those Parenting New Year’s Resolutions?
If one of your resolutions was to change the dynamics in your household around PARENTING, Child in Bloom wants to help you get there. Here are a few tips to help insure your SUCCESS!
- Start small – begin by taking on ONE behavior at a time. When we try to change everything at once, we end up right back in the ‘whack-a-mole’ cycle! Ask yourself (and your spouse), what is the ONE behavior that, if changed, could really improve the day?
- Identify a replacement behavior – If they can no longer do X, what CAN they do instead? NAME IT! This is so crucial to getting everyone on the same page, (and for sticking with your 2016 goals!).
- Teach, Model and PRACTICE the NEW scenario. Draw it out or Act it out – Say, “This is what ____________behavior looked like in 2015 – This is the NEW WAY our family is going to do this in 2016! If you have never done this type of Parenting (TEACH/MODEL/PRACTICE) this ‘new’ NEW YEAR’s approach should get them to sit up and take notice!
- Make it VISUAL! Write down the ONE behavior you are working on and then POST it EVERYWHERE! (Over your bathroom and kitchen sinks, at the kitchen table, on the wall in the playroom, on the dashboard of your car, in your wallet!). When the behavior comes up (and it will!), point to the sign as a reminder of the NEW 2016 plan, and thenREVIEW the plan and let them REWIND and try it again – the right way.
- STICK WITH IT! It’s a NEW “BEHAVIOR DIET”, and it is going to take some getting used to. Studies show people who make it through the first THREE weeks of a diet have a very high rate of dieting success – but it is HARD to get past weeks one and two!
Think of that grumbling stomach when you are dieting as a metaphor for the grousing and grumbling you will hear from your kids. REDIRECT them to the replacement behavior, just as you might redirect your food choices from chips and ice cream to healthier choices if you are dieting.CHANGE is HARD!!! EXPECT it to be hard! Have a calendar somewhere in plain sight, and cross off each day of the New Behavior Plan. COMMIT to sticking with it for a minimum of 3 weeks. IT WILL BE SO WORTH IT!!
Make 2016 your family’s “Year of Change”. Good Luck, and remember, the coaches at Child in Bloom are here to help give you a Boost anytime you feel like giving up!