For the past ten months, I’ve taking care of two kids under 6, 10 hours a day. Want it or not, I discovered ways to keep them happy and safe in a routine without getting bored. Too good to be true? Not at all; here’s how I do it.
This one is a big and important one. Rewarding good behaviors instead of focusing on what they do wrong seems to be working wonders for me.
If we’re cleaning up their toys and only one of them is helping me, I’ll compliment and encourage his/her behavior instead of talking about what the other is doing wrong or not doing at all.
Ask ask ask
I wish I figured this out sooner, but the more you ask, the more willing your kids will be to listen and cooperate.
Let’s say that it’s time to leave the playground, you can ask them wether they want to slide one last time or have one more push on the swing. That way, they’re more focused on the last bit of fun rather than the fact that you’re leaving.
Name the emotions
Asking the kids to name their emotions is as important as naming yours.
They might be misbehaving because their sad about something, you’ll never know for sure until you ask. If they’re not listening or doing something wrong you can tell them how their bad behavior makes you feel. It allows them to relate and gives them a simple reason to shape up.