Read Part 1 here
4. Bad behaviour
All children misbehave. It is normal when children are tired, hungry, afraid, or learning independence. And they can drive us crazy when stuck at home.
- Catch bad behavior early and redirect your kids’ attention from a bad to a good behavior.
- Stop it before it starts! When they start to get restless, you can distract with something interesting or fun: “Come, let’s go outside for a walk!”
- Take a pause Feel like screaming? Give yourself a 10-second pause. Breathe in and out slowly five times. Then try to respond in a calmer way. Millions of parents say this helps - a lot!
- Use consequencesConsequences help teach our children responsibility for what they do. They also allow discipline that is controlled. This is more effective than hitting or shouting.
- Give your child a choice to follow your instruction before giving them the consequence.
- Try to stay calm when giving the consequence.
- Make sure you can follow through with the consequence. For example, taking away a teenager’s phone for a week is hard to enforce.Taking it away for one hour is more realistic.
- Once the consequence is over, give your child a chance to do something good, and praise them for it.
One-on-One time, praise for being good, and consistent routines will reduce bad behaviour.
Give your children and teens simple jobs with responsibilities. Just make sure it is something they are able to do. And praise them when they do it!
5. Keep calm and manage stress
This is a stressful time. Take care of yourself, so you can support your children.
- You are not alone Millions of people have the same fears as us. Find someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. Listen to them. Avoid social media that makes you feel panicked.
- Take a break We all need a break sometimes. When your children are asleep, do something fun or relaxing for yourself. Make a list of healthy activities that YOU like to do. You deserve it!
- Listen to your kids Be open and listen to your children. Your children will look to you for support and reassurance. Listen to your children when they share how they are feeling. Accept how they feel and give them comfort.
- Take a pause Taking a pause can also be helpful when you find your child is irritating you or has done something wrong. It gives you a chance to be calmer. Even a few deep breaths or connecting with the feeling of the floor beneath can make a difference. You can also take a pause with your children!
6. Talking about COVID-19
- Be willing to talk They will already have heard something. Silence and secrets do not protect our children. Honesty and openness do. Think about how much they will understand. You know them best.
- Be open and listen Allow your child to talk freely. Ask them open questions and find out how much they already know.
- Be honest Always answer their questions truthfully. Think about how old your child is and how much they can understand.
- Be supportive Your child may be scared or confused. Give them space to share how they are feeling and let them know you are there for them.
- It is OK not to know the answers It is fine to say “We don’t know, but we are working on it; or we don’t know, but we think.” Use this as an opportunity to learn something new with your child!
- Heroes not bullies Explain that COVID-19 has nothing to do with the way someone looks, where they are from, or what language they speak. Tell your child that we can be compassionate to people who are sick and those who are caring for them. Look for stories of people who are working to stop the outbreak and are caring for sick people.
- There are a lot of stories going around Some may not be true. Use trustworthy sites like UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
- End on a good note Check to see if your child is okay. Remind them that you care and that they can talk to you anytime. Then do something fun together!
Download the PDF with Parenting tips.