Big disclaimer – These suggestions have worked with my four children and as you know all children are wonderfully different little individuals. This is just what has helped and worked for me and may not work for everyone. Also, I believe that a big part of my quiet and calm children is having a quiet and at least outwardly calm mother. I definitely am not an expert in any way.
If there is one thing that everyone always says to me it is that my children are so well behaved. Yesterday when I was in Aldi the lady behind me said, “Wow your children are amazing, what absolute angels!” When we got out of the shop, I had to give them all a big hug and say how proud of them all I am.
So I have put together a few tips that I have put into practise that I hope maybe can help someone else.
- The basics have to be in place. Make sure they are eating a healthy diet and getting to bed nice and early. There is nothing naughtier than an overtired child.
- Stay calm with them. When they were toddlers and needed a bit of direction, I would get down on their level, take their hands, look them in the eye and talk calmly and simply to them. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by shouting and waving your arms around.
- Routine – Children love to know what is happening next. I like routines set out where they know what is coming next and they know what is expected of them. If it is a new experience for them I will explain it step by step, what is going to happen. Or at least everything I know about it.
- Expect them to behave and expect the best from them. This takes a fair bit of trust and also a bit of time before the trust is gained. But I expect good behaviour and my children know that.
- Nip small problems in the bud. Don’t let little naughty habits and behaviours slip in. When they do something unasseptable (as the super nanny would say) even if in itself it is nothing really, let them know that they shouldn’t have done that and ask them to try not to do it again.
- Be consistent! Very important. Always follow through with your punishments or ‘threats’ (hate that word).
- Lots and lots of love and cuddles and kisses. Lots of praise and encouragement. Children thrive on this. So important!
- Keep their home environment calm and orderly. Don’t shout and argue with your partner. Definitely not where they can hear.
- Always let them know that they have a hearing ear with you. Keep the lines of communication open and really listen to them if they have a problem or need to talk.
- Make sure that they are not arguing or fighting with each other. At least not too much. My 3 and 5 year old boys get on each others nerves. I think it is pretty natural. But let them know the importance of family and sticking together and sticking up for each other too. To have a family that cares for each other looks out for one another is a very strong little unit. To know that someone has your back, can make all the difference to confidence levels.
Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know alot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)