Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book fourteen: Your Six-Year Old: Loving and Defiant by Louise Bates Ames

I'd quote the whole book here if I had enough time and space and it wasn't illegal to do so.

This book quite accurately describes exactly what Hen is like right now. Unfortunately, age six is when kids pull away from their primary caregiver, who up to this point has been the center of their lives, and start placing themselves in the center. During this time of transition, the child often finds it difficult to make a decision - they do but they don't, they can but they can't - this sort of thing. As if this wasn't already enough to drive you out of your parental mind, they are moody, aggressive, etc. Thank goodness, this type of behavior is generally reserved for their main caregivers. This at least means when  they are out of your care, they are most likely well-behaved.

Perhaps most appreciated is the list of techniques one can use to try and curb the disruptive, unpleasant behavior.

1. Praise - No matter how difficult it may be, try to find a particular aspect of the day and your child's behavior that you can praise.

2. Chances - If at first the child refuses or ignores a request, acknowledge that this is a difficult moment and that more than one chance might be needed in order to get things done. For instance, when a child tells you he won't do something, instead of becoming combative, try saying, "I guess you're going to need three chances on this one."

3. Counting - You give your child a simple request. They do nothing. You say, "And let's see if you can do that before I count to ten." I used this with great success.

4. Sidestep - Instead of meeting defiance head-on, change the subject or situation. Give as few commands as possible to avoid setting yourself up for a combative confrontation. If you need something done, make an indirect request.

5. Bargain - Don't overuse this one or you may appear weak. But break it out when needed. A good response for constant pestering is to offer a given reward for a completed daily task.

6. Give in - For those moments when you find yourself battling over something insignificant, you can say, "Well, I guess it doesn't really matter," and let him win one.

I will absolutely be checking out her next age book as Hen's birthday approaches so I know what to expect.

14 down plus 38 to go.

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