Help Children Say What They Need (4-18-14)

Today’s Parenting Tip:

DECIDE:   You can help your child learn to be responsible for getting his needs met.

PRACTICE:   Today, notice whether your child is taking out his frustrations on other people or things.

When you see that behavior, let her know you think she must be frustrated about something.

Don’t ask why he is acting the way he is. Instead, ask him what he needs.

He may answer, “Nothing” or “I don’t know.” If the child is old enough, accept that answer and don’t suggest things. Just let him know you are there for him, if he thinks of what is making him so frustrated.

If he responds by asking for something you can’t help with, suggest another close option. For example, if he says he wants a chocolate sundae, you could offer something more nutritious, but add the feature of sharing the snack together in a special place.

If the child is too young to say what he needs, when you see his frustrated behavior, you will need to think for him and suggest what he might need. For example try cuddling him, offering him some food, or helping him take a rest.

With whatever you offer, let him know you could tell from his frustrated behavior that he needed something. You can tell him you are glad you both figured out what he needed so he wouldn’t continue hitting his sister, throwing his toys, being mean to the dog, etc.

Today’s Decide and Practice daily parenting tip was inspired by our featured picture book, PHOEBE & DIGGER.  Read the book to a child in your life each day as a reminder of what you are deciding and practicing that day.

Come back each day for another good parenting decision and how to practice it. (Each day’s activity will also be posted on the Daily Parenting Tips page for easy access.)

Read the whole story at Making Children Feel Safe and Important, Part 1.

What do you think?

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