Parenting is hard – we all know that. And if you’re reading this, chances are you are always looking for ways to improve what you do as a parent. If you’d like to see improvement in your children’s behavior (don’t we all!), follow my simple 20 Minute Behavior Fix.
The secret? 20 minutes of your time. That’s it. Every day. No exceptions. No phones. No interruptions.
After seeing our kids struggle with behavior, we tried out this simple rule. We devote 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to our kids each day. Now, clearly, we spend more than 20 minutes with our kids – chasing after them, playing, changing diapers, making meals, naptime, bath time etc. But how much of that time is uninterrupted – from work, outside forces, deliveries, other kids and just juggling life?
Here’s how it works:
Simply devote a solid 20 minutes to each child or to them as a group (different days will yield different things!). No phones, no going over to check on dinner, no cleaning up the room while you “play….” 20 Minutes straight playing legos, reading, talking, crafting – where they have your undivided attention.
I know some of you may say, “well, I do this!” and you probably do! We all probably do, but are we taking that extra step to ensure it is uninterrupted time? We often don’t realize all of life’s little interruptions, because we are so used to them. But kids do notice.
“Let mommy just check this real quick.”
“Mommy just has check the oven or dinner”
“Sure, I’m watching. I’m just going to fold the clothes over here.”
We’re busy – and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with multi-tasking, but kids need that devoted attention. Giving them that time has show to be effective in our house. My son went from yelling and constantly interrupting to being a bit more mellow. I think he always felt that he had to compete for our attention. When we satisfied it with our time, he mellowed out. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Below are some more EASY tips for Parenting Improvement. My 20 Minute Behavior Fix covers #1!
1. Make The Time – Sure it’s a busy world and we all have commitments as adults but your kids need you too. Make the time each day to hear about what’s going on with them, what’s new in their world or what struggles they are having. They also don’t mind hearing about what’s going on in your world either.
2. Keep Your Word – Kids need to know that they can count on their parents. If you promise something to your child or make a comitment, do everything you can to keep it.
3. Don’t Bribe Your Kids – A recent survey showed that 61% of parents bride their children in order to achieve good behavior on a regular basis. While bribes could solve the problem at that moment, long-term bribing could develop a child who will only do something for certain payback or incentives.
4. Try Saying No More Often… You don’t need to crush every dream your child has for spending money, but the next time your child wants another Lego, video game, ice cream cone or piece of candy from the rack at the store check-out, try saying no. In the long run, you both will be better off for doing so.
5. Talk To Your Kids – No topic should ever be uncomfortable for a parent to discuss with their child. Not money, not drugs, not sex, not what they do on the Internet, not religion and certainly not what’s happening in their lives. However, study after study and survey after survey reveal that parents have issues discussing these topics (any more) with their kids.
6. Get Involved In Community – Show your kids that you are willing to be active in the community to help others. Any time you get the chance to demonstrate the willingness to help others without something in return, you have earned a gold star.