About the speaker: Dr Helen Likierman is a consultant clinical psychologist working with families and children where there are emotional, social, behavioural or learning concerns. Visit Helen's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
Further information about this Talk
Visit Helen's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
To get hold of Valerie Muter's and Helen Likierman's latest book on how parents can prepare their child for school please click here.
Key Points Covered in This Talk:
- Become an authoritative parent: Be clear and give firm guidelines, boundaries and rules. At the same time it is important to be caring and nurturing. Your child needs to know exactly what he or she can and can't do but there is some flexibility as well. It is not just a rigid "You do as I say because I say so" type of guidance.
- Noticing, praising and encouraging good behaviour: If you let all good behaviour pass by then you do not give a preschool child an incentive to keep on behaving well in the future. It you only give attention to what your child is doing wrong you will be giving an incentive to behave badly. Praise is always important: a preschool child needs to hear their parents saying that they are pleased with what he or she has done. One can also set up a more structured plan of action by the use or rewards in a systematic way. This is useful where some behaviours are not properly in place. Perhaps your child is causing problems about going to bed at night or not doing what he or she is told in other areas. In these sorts of situations you can set up a structured reward system using reward charts.
- Dealing with bad behaviour: When things are very difficult (e.g. your child is aggressive in any way) you may need something more than praise or reward. Sometimes a little more is required and in these sorts of situations "time out" should be used. Time out is meant to be time away from being involved with parents or other people. It's time away from being told off; from being looked at; from any talk, discussion or play. The child is on his or her own, just for a few minutes with a preschool age child. It cannot be long: it's not about putting a child in their bedroom for hours on end or punishing them harshly. It's just time away to give a child time to reflect on what has happened and isn't being rewarded for the naughty behaviour that he or she has shown. When doing something structured like time out it is really important to have in place in advance a structure reward scheme. It's much better and more effective to start with rewards.