← Go back Q& A: Decoding Common Parenting Traps
Published on Monday, April 4, 2016 by

kidscleanup240As parents we often deal with a common dilemma: children not listening or being rude; and having to repeating a request time and time again. These parenting pitfalls can be easily avoided with a bold shot of ‘effective communication’.

Q: Hi Julie. Clean up time is such a struggle at our house with my two kids, ages two and four years. They never just do it on their own or do it properly, even with help. How can I solve this problem? – Olivia K. Edmonton

 JR: This can be VERY frustrating for sure! Young children are just beginning to understand the ‘concept’ of clean-up time and may need some time to comprehend. Having to clean-up a messy room or activity can feel very overwhelming for children.  It is common for them to feel like they want to escape the situation so they don’t have to do it.  Children usually respond well when they know they have both physical help as well as emotional support from their parent.

Make clean up time go smoother with these tips:

  • Pitch in with them and let them know they don’t have to do it alone.
  • Break down the entire task into small parts.
  • Offer certain categories of things they can clean up.

Q: Why is our five-year old so rude and talk back so much? It’s driving us crazy. It feels as if ours is the only child who is behaving so badly. – Denise & Daryl J. Surrey

JR: This parenting pitfall is very common and I see it often. Testing the limits and boundaries is an essential part of child development and is supposed to take place. When parents ‘guide’  children’s behaviour and teach them what is acceptable and what is not, there can be positive short-term and long-term results.

Here are some tips to effectively “guide” your child’s behavior:

  • Remain ‘neutral’ in the approach and avoid getting emotionally engaged.
  • Use phrases such as ‘I don’t like (“state the undesirable behaviour”).
  • Distinguish that it is the behaviour you dislike and not the child.
  • Clearly mention behaviours ‘that are okay’ and ‘not okay’.

Q: Is it possible to get our children to listen the first time instead of having to repeat ourselves numerous times?  – Kelly & John B. Vancouver

JR: It is possible. When parents find themselves repeating the same request over and over and getting very little or no response, it is a pretty sure sign that communication skills may need improving.

Here are some ‘effective communication’ tips:

  • Discuss the ‘expectations’ around the request, responsibility or routine.
  • Prioritize what needs to be completed and when (responsibilities & leisure activities).
  • Create a list (visual) and post it. Use it as a daily guide to refer to.

Submit your question at – www.missbehaviour.ca/just-ask-julie.html

Julie Romanowski is a mom, an Early Childhood Consultant and owner of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach and consulting services’, the children’s behavior & discipline specialists! Learn more through her e-newsletter, tips and blog at www.missbehaviour.ca


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