Things to Consider About Our Relationships During Intense Training Times
(1) To your child, it can feel like he is being ganged up on—or that he is not as loved because there is so much “negative” in the form of training, punishment, consequences, etc. You want to be sure you are combating this with attention, affirmation, encouragement, heart engagement, and many positives.
(2) Keep these ten tips close-by to be sure that you are staying close and connected when he feels less than positive about the changes and expectations.
(3) While it might not be possible during these intense times to follow a certain protocol (i.e. three positives for every one negative; ten affirmations for every negative feedback/correction, etc.), it is still important not to have a negative environment in which every thing is about the training, changes, and expectations.
Ten Tips for Staying Close During Intense Training Times With Tweens and Teens
(1) Remember, to your child, perception is reality. If he feels ganged up on, to him, he really is. If he feels that you do not LIKE him, to him, you really do not. If he feels like you are only focusing on negatives right now, to him, you are.
(2) Don’t over-focus on correction (i.e. too many areas at the same time; once you are on a roll about one thing, you find yourself picking/correcting every little thing). Choose the biggest things first ( see Four D’s of Behavior and Handling Heart Behaviors in Tweens). Don’t try to tackle everything at one time.
(3) Have more-than-normal amounts of one-on-one time with your child. (See our Keep Close Coupons.)
(4) Affirm your child’s good behavior and character during this time—early and often. (See our Affirmation Cards.)
(5) Give little gifts and plan little surprises. (See our Kid’s Faves Worsheets.)
(6) Have lots of family time, stressing family unity and love among family members.
(7) Say yes when you can. (This is already a time of a lot of no’s if he is being punished or having a lot of consequences; don’t pile on unnecessary no’s.)
(8) Be sure he sees you linking responsibility with privilege. (See my latest article—”The One Parenting Practice That Changes Everything.”) When improvements are made in his character, he should see immediate changes in his privileges—just like he should have seen lessening of privileges when responsibility wasn’t as good.)
(9) Use key times wisely. Drive time. Just the two of you home. Mornings. Dinner preparation. Bedtimes. Porch time. Tech-free zone time. All of these times are good times to connect to your child’s heart.
(10) Ask good questions. Focus on the WHY…..not just literal questions.
Podcast: Four D’s of Behavior
Podcast: Dealing With Heart Issues of Tweens
Blog post: Four Things Teens and Young Adults Need
Blog post: Teaching Children to Ask Questions
Blog Post: The One Parenting Practice That Changes Everything
Blog Post: A is for Affirmation