Set expectations. All three experts I spoke to said parents should be clear about what the schedule is and what behavior you want to see at the start of each day, whether it’s a secluded school morning or a long trip to the park . “Being explicit and direct is a must,” said Katharine Hill, a New York-based learning specialist and educational therapist.
It’s also worth noting that every family has their own microculture and what is expected in your home may not be what is expected in their homes. “It is a bit wrong that you have to have uniform rules in all households. I don’t know two parents who agree on all the rules and expectations within the same house, ”said Yamalis Diaz, clinical assistant professor of psychology at NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. “The ultimate goal is to teach the child the rules and expectations related to this.” That doesn’t mean you don’t have to remind kids about the rules in your home – but reminders will be easier when you’ve already established a basis for expectations.
If there is a behavior problem, you can always reset it and it will help keep the kids buy-in. For example, if the children behave when they are supposed to attend a distant class, you can directly name the behavior you want to see (e.g., “Let’s sit in our chairs and watch the teacher speak”) and ask the children how they intend to achieve this behavior, Mx. Said Hill.
Talk to other parents. When a child is behaving the way you don’t love them and your attempts to set boundaries and rules don’t work, you need to communicate with their parents, said Dr. Diaz. She suggests being very specific about what the problem is and gives the example of a child who speaks back with hurtful language.
If you tell a parent that their child is “disrespectful” in this scenario, “it suggests that it is a specific trait,” said Dr. Diaz, and the parents, may feel accused of failing to teach their child respect, which may make them instantly defensive. Instead, you can say something like, “I don’t like the language he or she is using,” because then the language is the problem, not the child, “she said.