Making your home a comfortable space for your child is your number one goal, but it can be challenging to tailor things. There are so many things for them to enjoy that it’s easy to get overloaded at home and lead to an overstimulated child. Use the following four tips to help prevent your child from being overwhelmed and to create an environment that will encourage them to grow to be their best selves.
Do’s rather than don’ts
It’s easy to set boundaries for children that include many restrictions. However, praise is a much better tool for improving behavior than punishment. Tell your child what they should be doing, and rewarding that behavior, will be easier for all concerned.
Whether you’re working to understand children with ADHD or simply to guide your child into positive, healthy behaviors, you can implement simple practices to make it easier for them to focus on the goals you want them to achieve.
Use a timer
By putting a timer to work, you can set boundaries to help your child focus their attention and energy for short bursts of time. For example, if you’re trying to encourage a reading habit over the summer, set a time limit for both you and your child to read quietly and put a reward, such as a game or a snack, when the beeper goes off.
Practice good behaviors
If there’s a habit you’re trying to help your child build, practice the skill with them repeatedly until they’ve got it, then increase the difficulty of the challenge. This can be as simple as taking their plate from the table to the sink or putting away one toy or game before taking out the next.
Color code the household
All children must learn focus, and color coding can simplify this. If you use recyclable grocery bags, try to get them in one color. This way, the child knows where you’re going and how they need to behave in the store as soon as they see the bags.
This process works well for display calendars as well. Because everyone in the house will have different appointments, simply color coding Dad’s board meeting or Mom’s rehearsal schedule will make the child aware that someone will be late or gone for the evening. Fewer surprises means better behavior.
Kids often want to help. By creating focused bits of time to practice repeatable good behaviors, you can help your child enjoy a home where they know what’s expected of them.