In Home Alone 1 to 4, we wrote how Dads can still participate in their children’s care when they need to be away. While you can plan for Caregivers to work on different activities with your child, you can also look at how to positively reinforce your child’s behaviours. Here’s a tip on how to start.
Set consistent communication boundaries for your child even when you are away. In fact, it will be essential because children tend to test boundaries and try to get away with what they say in your absence. This is especially so with Caregivers such as domestic helpers and family members or friends who come to help out occasionally.
Here are our suggestions:
Prepare a list of positive phrases that a child can use to replace negative phrases that he tends to use. For example:
“This is stupid, I don’t care!” 😦 vs “I don’t understand, please explain it to me.” 🙂
“This is very difficult, I give up.” 😦 vs “This is difficult, can you help me?” 🙂
“I hate you! I hate this. Go away!” 😦 vs “I don’t like to do this. Can we take a break and finish it later?” 🙂
“You are not my dad, you cannot make me do this!” 😦 vs “Dad wants me to do this? I will try to do it.” 🙂
Ask the Caregiver to put smiley faces on the list whenever the positive phrases are used. Reward your child for every smiley face he gets!