Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2018

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16 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2018 If I could create a safe tent just for him I would, full of just the right amount of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and a tablet that never ran out of battery. Unfortunately the world doesn't allow for us to create that bubble. There are days when plans will have to change, when the store won't have dinosaur nuggets, when his favorite show is no longer available on Netflix, when the sun is facing in the wrong window on the drive home. Then I remind myself that instead of a bubble, I have to help him learn to cope with life's inconsistencies and the unexpected. Every so often, I make small changes in our routine. We try a different bedtime book, I move a piece of furniture, we make one extra stop on the way home. And through each change I am right by his side helping him through the frustration and fear. My flexibility and willingness to constantly modify how I parent will ultimately help decrease his rigidity. Rewarding behavior in the right way As parents, we want to reward good behavior and of course, decrease bad behavior. Sometimes, however, the way we address the unwanted behaviors can actually reinforce them. The more attention a child receives for a certain action can perpetuate their desire to repeat it, so once again our flexibility is called into action. At around two years old, my son started hitting me. It seemed like it came out of nowhere. We don't spank in our house and he's not exposed to that on TV, but yet, here I was blocking his little hands all day long. Most of his frustration at the time came from his lack of communications skills. When he was frustrated or LEARNING AS WE GO (Continued from Page 15)

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