May 9th, 2012 marked the 7th anniversary of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Our goal is to increase awareness about the importance of children’s mental health with the help of their parents, reinforcing the belief that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth.
There are various reasons why young children benefit from parental control over their children’s behavior.
1. Early socialization is learning how to follow rules
2. The ability to obey and follow rules is important for the development of early social skills
3. Children learn more self-help tasks which can eliminate some developmental deficits (dressing themselves, using a spoon/fork at meal time, brushing their hair, etc)
4. Children strive for their parental control, structure, and stability.
5. Basic safety concerns
6. Minimizes the risk for abuse/neglect
Giving good directions to your child/children will elicit compliance in oppositional young children. It is important to understand your child is going to push their limits during compliance tasks whether you are givingeffective instructions or not. If they are not completely complying with your instructions, it is important to continue with your disciplining routine. Consulting with a mental health professional could be helpful. Be consistent, predictable, and follow through every time for the most effective results. The rules for giving good directions are as follows…
– Make command direct
– State commands positively (ask what to do versus what not to do)
– Keep the task single (Ex: put the red blocks away versus put the red blocks away, the baby blankets, and the race cars)
– Make commands specific/concise (Ex: put the dinosaurs away versus clean your room)
– Give directives in a neutral tone of voice
– Be polite and respectful/model good manners
– Give directives that are developmentally appropriate
– Use gestures
– Use directives when necessary
– Incorporate choices when appropriate
– Give explanations carefully
If you feel more comfortable talking with someone about determining if your child is actually complying or not, or if they are pushing their limits, contact Anita K. Lovell at 402-325-0117 ext. 3.