The holidays are around the corner and many families will have a busy social calendar.
Having visitors or going to visit friends and relatives can lead to a variety of problem behaviours in children such as showing off for attention or having tantrums.
Children can learn problem behaviour is overlooked when others are around and can use it as an opportunity to misbehave, turning what should be a fun visit in to a stressful time for parents.
Here are some simple tips.
Prepare your child for having visitors. Tell your child who is coming and what you would like them to do.
It is often useful to plan some activities to keep children entertained or take some activities with you.
Try to plan visitors or visits at times that don’t disrupt your child’s usual routine – tired and hungry children are less likely to be happy.
Setting two or three simple rules can remind your child what is expected of them.
For example, say excuse me if you need to speak to mum or dad, share your toys, play nicely with others.
Discuss the rules with your child, along with rewards and consequences and remind them of the rules.
Agree on a small reward with your child if they follow the rules.
Give your child lots of praise each time you see them behaving well so they are not having to misbehave to get attention.
Check in on them every 10 minutes or so and engage them in a different activity if they are starting to get bored.
If your child starts to misbehave, get close and gain their attention by using their name, tell them what you want them to stop doing and what you would like to see them doing instead.
Follow up with a consequence if they do not do as you have asked.
Once the visit is over review what went well with your child to reinforce the behaviour you would like to see next time.
If there was a problem following one of the rules remind your child of the rule and set a goal for next time.
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