Teaching kids fair play
When you have children, you quickly begin to learn the art of compromise! While sometimes it can be all too easy to give them just what they want when they're throwing on a tantrum, it's a good idea to stick to the rules as often as possible and by doing so, help to teach them about respect and fair play. Imagine that your child is bugging you to stay up and watch a soccer game - their favourite sport - on television. They also have a lot of homework that needs to get done. A successful compromise might be that if they get their homework tasks finished before the soccer game begins, they can then watch it. Another common scenario might be that your child has left their room in a mess and you're having trouble getting them to clean it up. Rather than focusing on the negative, try to encourage the required behaviour with positives. While this might not be possible with younger kids, older children may be more willing to compromise as they can understand the requirements of following rules. If they reach their goal and complete the compromise, it can be a good idea to explicitly explain that because they kept their word, they can now watch the game or have a friend over as a reward. This explanation can help kids to further their understanding of the concept. If the compromise and guideline you have put in place doesn't work, or if your child refuses to do a task at all, 'time out' can be a good option. Remember, when your child is doing a great job playing by the rules, make sure you reward them with positive reinforcement. This is one of the best ways to further encourage the behaviour - after all deep down, they just want to impress you!