This post originally appeared on September 9, 2011.
Parenting Tip #12 ~ Positive Behavior Books
I am going to let you in on a little parenting secret today… my dear sweet Little M has a really strong personality. I’m sure if you have been following me for a while, you are not that surprised. For the most part some firm consequences and a brief “moment alone” will bring her back to her normal, happy, singing self. While I am not perfect, I do try my very best to use only positive parenting techniques. In the past few weeks we have had a lot of BIG changes in our house and Little M is not handling it well. I decided to bring out the big guns!
Again…I will not take credit for this brilliant strategies. Just like with Conflict Resolution… I learned it years ago and have no idea where!
This Positive Behavior Book works best when there is a specific behavior you are looking to change. In this case, Little M has reverted to throwing loud and long tantrums. I am not looking to squash the anger…just show her how to display it in a positive way. (Let’s face it, getting mad can be a positive, motivating force if it’s well directed.)
Little M loves to make books, so I let her prep this one. She cut pieces and stapled them together. I filled in the words and then she drew the pictures. Depending on the age (and interest level) of your kid, they can be really involved in making the book or not involved at all.
Title: Sometimes I Get Mad!
page1. My name is Madison. Some people call me Maddy. I am 4.
page2. I like to be silly. I like to laugh. Sometimes I am very happy.
page 3. When I am happy I smile. When I am happy I jump.
page 4. Sometimes I get mad. When I am mad I want to yell.
page 5. But I am 4. 4 is big. So I behave like a big girl, even when I’m mad.
page 6. When I am mad, I take myself to a quiet place.
page 7. I take deep breaths until I am calm. When I am calm I can use my big girl words.
page 8. When I use my big girl words, it is easier to solve my problem.
page 9. When I solve my problem I am no longer mad. I am happy. I love being happy.
page 10. I am proud of myself for being able to control my feelings.
page 11. I am Maddy and I am a big girl!
Guidelines for making Positive Behavior Book
1. Pick a specific behavior. I have used this type of book so many times and it works for just about any behavior. (Possible behaviors; walking in store, crying at drop off, staying in bed, using nice words, and picking up toys).
2. Keep it really simple. Make sure the book is to the point and only has a sentence or two per page. The book I made for Little M was a bit too long. I think they are best kept between 7- 10 pages.
3. Positive is the key word! The book should describe exactly how you want your kid to behave in a positive way. Everything should point towards the new behavior (and ignore the old one). Make sure to highlight how your little one will feel when they have accomplished the new behavior.
4. Read it. Make sure to read your Positive Behavior Book over and over and over again. If you know that there is a certain time or thing that will trigger the behavior read the book just before its about to happen.
Are there any behaviors you are dying to reshape? I would love to hear if this book works for you as well as its worked for us! If you need help coming up with the words contact me…I would love to help!
This post is a part of the Parenting Tips Series.