Worked out with my 7 year old daughter yesterday. Her plank was arched... Her squats didn't go low enough... Her sit-ups were too floppy... But guess what? She enjoyed it and she was sweating! ...and she wants to do it again!
I could have critiqued her every move and dampened her spirit. She would have been trying but her effort would have felt to be not good enough. You can definitely give her advice and help your child develop a new skill, but 80% of your focus should be on what they are doing right...then only 20% on things they can improve.
So instead of "Head up...put your feet down...get lower" It may sound like "Yes! Keep it up! ...that's exactly where your feet should be! ...you're staying with me! ...pull your shoulders back like this..." Over time their skills will improve by you focusing on the 20%.
Just remember... you may need to model the skill or physically help their body learn.. most kids (and adults) need more than just verbal directions to know what to do. Imagine putting together an IKEA piece only with VERBAL DIRECTIONS!
Have you ever done something hurtful to your spouse or friend that it took you hours or days before you could say “Sorry”?
Saying “sorry” can be really tough. Now imagine someone forcing you to say sorry… IMMEDIATELY!? That would NOT end well! The best way to get a meaningful apology out of your kid is to…
Wait an hour, wait until bedtime, wait until they request or have access to a preferred item/activity. These conversations and apologies will be much more meaningful. Now you both will be ready to communicate.
“Tell me what happened earlier with your sister?”
“Sure, let’s play a game but first…is there something you want to say to your mom?”
“Are you feeling better? What can we do next time when something makes you frustrated like that?”
They will see these conversations not as a chance to be defensive or embarrassed but as an opportunity to learn and grow. It teaches us so much as adults, that we also need to apologize when it’s necessary. It takes such a load off our shoulders and opens up the relationship for communication and trust.
Behavior Analyst wanting to change how parents...parent!