- Turning off the TV redirects attention
- Dinner eaten at the table creates better manners overall
- Don’t ever mention anything you own that you might not want to share on a continual basis. Like games on an ipod (which I’ve not mentioned, and never will).
- Learning the names of teddy bears creates a non-confrontational way of getting a small person to bed when at a BBQ. “Henry says goodnight, Horace says goodnight, incidentally so does L”.
- Kids don’t like being told that they’re behaving like they’re in a younger age group, and will assist with behaviour modification, if you do it the right way
- Food is more likely to be eaten if you assign to a broad category they know, rather than a specific foodie description along with “give it a try”
- Playing sharks and alligators while walking up the street is fun. As is playing wash-the-dishes while waiting for a bus
- “I’m bored” often means “I’m lonely, pay me attention”
- “I’m hungry” often means “I want crisps, or I’m bored (as per 8)”. Practical suggestions will not really help.
- “I can’t do this” often means “I want to check that you care about me enough to do it with me/for me”. See also no. 11
- It’s too easy to do everything for a child, but really, you shouldn’t. Particularly one that has learnt that everything gets done for her when she asks, and uses this as a proxy for checking that the adults around her care about her, or she’s not thought through how to do something. The more she does, the more confidence she’ll have to do things, and the more she’ll be at home here.
- There is a time for fun, a time for affection, a time to be strict and a time for quiet. While option 1 might be the preferred default for the child, options 2-4 also need to happen.
- Apparently I have a no nonsense voice and don’t-mess-with-me raised eyebrows. Works on 9 yr olds who get lazy about asking for stuff out of their reach on the table, and 5 yr olds who are behaving horridly.
- I am a responsible adult in her life, but not THE responsible adult, so can and should take a step back.
- However, part of my job is to act as a buffer and helper in the parenting duties and a re-assurer that this is normal and she’s a good girl, and he’s doing a great job.
- Ultimately it’s all about reassuring in many varied ways that she’s important and cared for and part of her Dad’s life.
Lessons in step-parenting
23/08/2009 by Karinne