Thursday, March 22, 2012

My son won't mind his grandparents!

Question:

My son just turned 3 years old and is a very bright little boy. However the problem lies with his behavior. He wont mind his grandparents, which keep him during the day. He constantly does things to aggravate them, dumping dirt on the couch, milk or juice in the floor or on the beds and yells and screams all the time at them. What can I do to prevent this behavior?
Jennifer

Dear Jennifer:

Sounds to me like grandma and grandpa could use an updated parenting course. They have him and they will need to be the ones to correct him when he needs correcting.

You have no control over him when he is with them. They probably need to know how to ignore bad behavior and how to re-direct him to good behavior. It works like this, they know he has a tenancy to do these behaviors at their house sooo....construct a routine for him that keeps him going from one activity to the next and doesn't allow him alot of free time.

Praise him when he is behaving and ignore bad behavior.

Children do not have a sense of time until they are about 7-8 years of age and depend solely upon their routines to tell them what comes next or what part of the day they are in. It sounds like he maybe acting out because he is anxious. It is important when developing a routine to realize their is a difference between schedules and routines. I don't advise strict schedules as they don't allow for adapting. In a routine for instance is you have reading time and he is really enjoying his reading time you can keep going until he loses interest. If you were following a schedule you would have to stop rather than flexing and adding a couple of extra books to read.

I assume he takes a nap at some point during the day. Develop a routine for nap time, lunch time etc.... possibly implementing massages for him would also help lower his anxiety and make nap time a better deal for both he and his grandparents.

Feel free to peruse through prior postings on routines to get more ideas for how to structure his daily routine and remember you need to do this focused on the grandparents as they have routines of their own.

If you would like more education on developing routines and or grandparent caregivers I am available for appointments. I also have live recordings about grandparents as caregivers on my homepage. Just click on the appropriate topic and listen.

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller