CSP Spotlight: Parent as Teacher/Coach

See your role as that of a teacher or coach to your children.  Demonstrate in detail how you would like them to behave. Have them practice the behavior.  Give them encouragement along with constructive criticism.

  • Try to set aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with your children.
  • Rather than tell them what not to do, teach and show them what they should do.
  • Use descriptive praise when they do something well. Say, “I like how you ____ when you ____.” Be specific.
  • Help your child learn to express how he feels. Say: “You seem frustrated.” “How are you feeling?” “Are you upset?” “You look like you are angry about that.” “It’s OK to feel that way.”
  • Try to see a situation the way your children do. Listen carefully to them.  Try to form a mental picture of how it would look to them.
  • Use a soft, confident tone of voice to redirect children when they are upset.
  • Be a good listener: Use good eye contact. Physically get down to the level of smaller children. Don’t interrupt.  Ask open ended questions rather than questions that can be answered with a yes or no.  Repeat back to them what you heard.
  • Make sure children understand directions. Have them repeat back the directions.
  • When possible, give children choices of when and how to comply with a request.
  • Look for gradual changes in behavior. Don’t expect too much.  Praise behavior that is coming closer to the desired goal.
  • Develop a nonverbal sign (gesture) that your children will accept as a signal that they are being inappropriate and need to change their behavior. This helps them to respond to your prompt without getting upset.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start, Child Care Partnership, and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world.

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