Tips on how to help control parental anger

Sometimes we as parents feel angry because our children are not listening and responding the way we want. Here are some tips that may help in controlling your anger.

1. Try to adjust how you think about what your child is doing. We may begin to believe that our son/daughter is trying to push our buttons or make us angry on purpose. Think of your child as someone just trying to figure out the wide world. Adjust your expectations. And try not to react. You may find that this lowers your anger level.

2. Pay attention to yourself. If you see that you are getting ready to respond in a negative way or snap, know your own warning signs and intervene before you react. Take a moment to regroup. You will find that by paying attention to your own stress meter, you can avoid the angry blow up. Use deep breathing calming techniques for yourself, so that the message you are giving to your child is more balanced and controlled.

3. Reduce stressful moments by being clear in your directives. Use short, clear, and firm instructions. Avoid sarcasm and use praise whenever possible. By being clear and firm, without losing control, you help create a balanced and nurturing environment in which to raise your child.

Keeping calm is not easy, especially with the stress of children who may be demanding of your time and energy to the point of exhaustion. By trying to incorporate some of these techniques, parents can hopefully avoid responding with anger and can build on positive interaction with their children. Use these techniques along with the Ticket Store Game to help improve your child’s behavior. Good luck and enjoy the process!

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Tips for parents

One of the most important things in helping to improve behavior is to create a loving relationship with your child. Showing your child that you are willing to take the time to listen, learn, play and teach will go a long way in building that loving relationship. Taking the time to put in the effort and play games together and laugh strengthens the loving bond.

Get ahead of the curve. Plan ahead and anticipate behavior issues before they become a problem. Be pro-active in giving instruction and guidance to help avoid behavior problems. Utilize games and interactive methods to create positive feedback for good behavior.

Reinforce good behavior. Get focused on your child’s good behavior and build on it. Praise often. Children thrive on knowing that they are doing good and that they have your approval. Catch your child being good, and let him or her know it. You will be surprised how helpful that can be.

Remember, it sometimes takes small steps to make big progress! Stay with it. It is worth all the effort!

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Family Doctor.org article on developing your child’s self esteem

Here is an article on developing your child’s self esteem from Family Doctor.org.  The article identifies positive reinforcement as an important tool in building self esteem.  That is another reason positive reinforcement is used while playing the Ticket Store Game.

Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.

In contrast, kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as “I’m no good” or “I can’t do anything right,” they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response is “I can’t.”

Here’s how you can play important role in promoting healthy self-esteem in your child.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves, our “self-perceptions.” How we define ourselves influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviors and affects our emotional adjustment.

Patterns of self-esteem start very early in life. For example, a toddler who reaches a milestone experiences a sense of accomplishment that bolsters self-esteem. Learning to roll over after dozens of unsuccessful attempts teaches a baby a “can-do” attitude.

The concept of success following persistence starts early. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why parental involvement is key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions.

Self-esteem also can be defined as feelings of capability combined with feelings of being loved. A child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. Likewise, a child who feels loved but is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also end up with low self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem comes when the right balance is reached.

Signs of Unhealthy and Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem fluctuates as kids grow. It’s frequently changed and fine-tuned, because it is affected by a child’s experiences and new perceptions. So it helps to be aware of the signs of both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem.

Kids with low self-esteem may not want to try new things, and may frequently speak negatively about themselves: “I’m stupid,” “I’ll never learn how to do this,” or “What’s the point? Nobody cares about me anyway.” They may exhibit a low tolerance for frustration, giving up easily or waiting for somebody else to take over. They tend to be overly critical of and easily disappointed in themselves. Kids with low self-esteem see temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions, and a sense of pessimism predominates.

Kids with healthy self-esteem tend to enjoy interacting with others. They’re comfortable in social settings and enjoys group activities as well as independent pursuits. When challenges arise, they can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others. For example, rather than saying, “I’m an idiot,” a child with healthy self-esteem says, “I don’t understand this.” They know their strengths and weaknesses, and accept them. A sense of optimism prevails.

How Parents Can Help

How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child? These tips can make a big difference:  •Watch what you say. Kids are very sensitive to parents’ words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done, but also for effort. But be truthful. For example, if your child doesn’t make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, “Well, next time you’ll work harder and make it.” Instead, try “Well, you didn’t make the team, but I’m really proud of the effort you put into it.” Reward effort and completion instead of outcome. •Be a positive role model. If you’re excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your child may eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem, and your child will have a great role model. •Identify and redirect your child’s inaccurate beliefs. It’s important for parents to identify kids’ irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they’re about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping kids set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-concept. Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids. For example, a child who does very well in school but struggles with math may say, “I can’t do math. I’m a bad student.” Not only is this a false generalization, it’s also a belief that will set the child up for failure. Encourage kids to see a situation in its true light. A helpful response might be: “You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is just a subject that you need to spend more time on. We’ll work on it together.” •Be spontaneous and affectionate. Your love will go a long way to boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and tell kids you’re proud of them. Pop a note in your child’s lunchbox that reads, “I think you’re terrific!” Give praise frequently and honestly, without overdoing it. Kids can tell whether something comes from the heart. •Give positive, accurate feedback. Comments like “You always work yourself up into such a frenzy!” will make kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, “You were really mad at your brother. But I appreciate that you didn’t yell at him or hit him.” This acknowledges a child’s feelings, rewards the choice made, and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time. •Create a safe, loving home environment. Kids who don’t feel safe or are abused at home will suffer immensely from low self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may become depressed and withdrawn. Also watch for signs of abuse by others, problems in school, trouble with peers, and other factors that may affect kids’ self-esteem. Deal with these issues sensitively but swiftly. And always remember to respect your kids. •Help kids become involved in constructive experiences. Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem. For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps a younger one learn to read can do wonders for both kids.   Finding Professional Help

If you suspect your child has low self-esteem, consider professional help. Family and child counselors can work to uncover underlying issues that prevent a child from feeling good about himself or herself.

Therapy can help kids learn to view themselves and the world positively. When kids see themselves in a more realistic light, they can accept who they truly are.

With a little help, every child can develop healthy self-esteem for a happier, more fulfilling life.

Reviewed by: David V. Sheslow, PhD  Date reviewed: November 2008

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Family Doctor.org article on what you can do to change your child’s behavior

Article From Family Doctor.Org Here is an article from Family Doctor.Org on what you can do to change your child’s behavior:
“What is normal behavior for a child?
Normal behavior in children depends on the child’s age, personality, and physical and emotional development. A child’s behavior may be a problem if it doesn’t match the expectations of the family or if it is disruptive. Normal or “good” behavior is usually determined by whether it’s socially, culturally and developmentally appropriate. Knowing what to expect from your child at each age will help you decide whether his or her behavior is normal.
What can I do to change my child’s behavior?
Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored. Consistency in your reaction to a behavior is important because rewarding and punishing the same behavior at different times confuses your child. When you think your child’s behavior might be a problem, you have 3 choices:
•Decide that the behavior is not a problem because it’s appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development. •Attempt to stop the behavior, either by ignoring it or by punishing it. •Introduce a new behavior that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.

How do I stop misbehavior?
The best way to stop unwanted behavior is to ignore it. This way works best over a period of time. When you want the behavior to stop immediately, you can use the time-out method.
How do I use the time-out method?
Decide ahead of time the behaviors that will result in a time-out (usually tantrums, or aggressive or dangerous behavior). Choose a time-out place that is uninteresting for the child and not frightening, such as a chair, corner or playpen. When you’re away from home, consider using a car or a nearby seating area as a time-out place.
When the unacceptable behavior occurs, tell the child the behavior is unacceptable and give a warning that you will put him or her in time-out if the behavior doesn’t stop. Remain calm and don’t look angry. If your child goes on misbehaving, calmly take him or her to the time-out area.
If possible, keep track of how long your child’s been in time-out. Set a timer so your child will know when time-out is over. Time-out should be brief (generally 1 minute for each year of age), and should begin immediately after reaching the time-out place or after the child calms down. You should stay within sight or earshot of the child, but don’t talk to him or her. If the child leaves the time-out area, gently return him or her to the area and consider resetting the timer. When the time-out is over, let the child leave the time-out place. Don’t discuss the bad behavior, but look for ways to reward and reinforce good behavior later on.
How do I encourage a new, desired behavior?
One way to encourage good behavior is to use a reward system. Children who learn that bad behavior is not tolerated and that good behavior is rewarded are learning skills that will last them a lifetime. This works best in children older than 2 years of age. It can take up to 2 months to work. Being patient and keeping a diary of behavior can be helpful to parents.
Choose 1 to 2 behaviors you would like to change (for example, bedtime habits, tooth brushing or picking up toys). Choose a reward your child would enjoy. Examples of good rewards are an extra bedtime story, delaying bedtime by half an hour, a preferred snack or, for older children, earning points toward a special toy, a privilege or a small amount of money.
Explain the desired behavior and the reward to the child. For example, “If you get into your pajamas and brush your teeth before this TV show is over, you can stay up a half hour later.” Request the behavior only one time. If the child does what you ask, give the reward. You can help the child if necessary but don’t get too involved. Because any attention from parents, even negative attention, is so rewarding to children, they may prefer to have parental attention instead of a reward at first. Transition statements, such as, “In 5 minutes, play time will be over,” are helpful when you are teaching your child new behaviors.
This system helps you avoid power struggles with your child. However, your child is not punished if he or she chooses not to behave as you ask; he or she simply does not get the reward.
What are some good ways to reward my child?
Beat the Clock (good method for a dawdling child)
Ask the child to do a task. Set a timer. If the task is done before the timer rings, your child gets a reward. To decide the amount of time to give the child, figure out your child’s “best time” to do that task and add 5 minutes.
The Good Behavior Game (good for teaching a new behavior)
Write a short list of good behaviors on a chart and mark the chart with a star each time you see the good behavior. After your child has earned a small number of stars (depending on the child’s age), give him or her a reward.
Good Marks/Bad Marks (best method for difficult, highly active children)
In a short time (about an hour) put a mark on a chart or on your child’s hand each time you see him or her performing a good behavior. For example, if you see your child playing quietly, solving a problem without fighting, picking up toys or reading a book, you would mark the chart. After a certain number of marks, give your child a reward. You can also make negative marks each time a bad behavior occurs. If you do this, only give your child a reward if there are more positive marks than negative marks.
Developing Quiet Time (often useful when you’re making supper)
Ask your child to play quietly alone or with a sibling for a short time (maybe 30 minutes). Check on your child frequently (every 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the child’s age) and give a reward or a token for each few minutes they were quiet or playing well. Gradually increase the intervals (go from checking your child’s behavior every 2 to 5 minutes to checking every 30 minutes), but continue to give rewards for each time period your child was quiet or played well.

What else can I do to help my child behave well?
Make a short list of important rules and go over them with your child. Avoid power struggles, no-win situations and extremes. When you think you’ve overreacted, it’s better to use common sense to solve the problem, even if you have to be inconsistent with your reward or punishment method. Avoid doing this often as it may confuse your child.
Accept your child’s basic personality, whether it’s shy, social, talkative or active. Basic personality can be changed a little, but not very much. Try to avoid situations that can make your child cranky, such as becoming overly stimulated, tired or bored. Don’t criticize your child in front of other people. Describe your child’s behavior as bad, but don’t label your child as bad. Praise your child often when he or she deserves it. Touch him or her affectionately and often. Children want and need attention from their parents.
Develop little routines and rituals, especially at bedtimes and meal times. Provide transition remarks oftline(such as “In 5 minutes, we’ll be eating dinner.”). Allow your child choices whenever possible. For example, you can ask, “Do you want to wear your red pajamas or your blue pajamas to bed tonight?”As children get older, they may enjoy becoming involved in household rule making. Don’t debate the rules at the time of misbehavior, but invite your child to participate in rule making at another time.
Why shouldn’t I use physical punishment?
Parents may choose to use physical punishment (such as spanking) to stop undesirable behavior. The biggest drawback to this method is that although the punishment stops the bad behavior for a while, it doesn’t teach your child to change his or her behavior. Disciplining your child is really just teaching him or her to choose good behaviors. If your child doesn’t know a good behavior, he or she is likely to return to the bad behavior. Physical punishment becomes less effective with time and can cause the child to behave aggressively. It can also be carried too far — into child abuse. Other methods of punishment are preferred and should be used whenever possible.”
From:

http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/behavior-emotions/child-behavior-what-parents-can-do-to-change-their-childs-behavior.html

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Great ideas to improve kids behavior in school

Here are some strategies to improve kids behavior in school.  Methods include tickets, rewards,  and incentive programs to reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior.  Read some of the creative rewards that teachers in many grade schools use as reported on ProTeacher Community blog at http://www.proteacher.org/c/659_Rewards_and_Incentives.html .

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Lady Gaga gets involved in anti bullying

Anti bullying is an important issue in our schools and communities today.  Lady Gaga has recently announced her involvement in the movement to stop bullying now.  See the article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/opinion/kristof-born-to-not-get-bullied.html?_r=1&ref=bullies

Bullying can have a huge impact on kids.  As pointed out in the article:” A recent study from the University of Virginia suggests that when a school has a climate of bullying, it’s not just the targeted kids who suffer — the entire school lags academically. A British scholar found that children who simply witness bullying are more likely to skip school or abuse alcohol. American studies have found that children who are bullied are much more likely to contemplate suicide and to skip school.”        Visit our website to see how the Ticket Store Game can help make kids more aware of bullying and how to combat it.

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Great article on improving behavior

Here is a very good link to an article that gives some helpful techniques to improve kids behavior. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/10-techniques-shape-childrens-behavior

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