To avoid shouting and nagging boys – brainstorming

Boys like being consulted about things. If there is a problem that you have with them it’s always best to try and sort it out with him. They might surprise you and come up imaginative solutions to the problems.

Here are some guidelines for brainstorming by Lucinda Neall:

* Choose a time when any emotion have subsided.

* Write down a simple description of the problem.

* Make sure everyone knows the three rules of brainstorming

1. Think of as many imaginative solutions as possible.

2. Every idea is written down.

3. No comments must be made on ideas until they have all been written down.

* Write down the suggested solutions to the problems; adults can have ideas too.

* Once all the ideas have been written down, assess them together. If anyone disagrees with an idea, cross them out. If everyone agrees with it, tick it. It’s fine to add extra ideas and adapt them at this stage.

* Talk through the ideas until you agree on a way to solve the problem.

To avoid shouting and nagging at children

This is taken from a book that I love, About our boys by Lucinda Neall

Boys are often overwhelmed by the size of a problem – for example, clearing away toys, tidying their bedroom or doing their homework – and then respond by doing nothing or, when they are older, by filling their time with displacement activities such as texting friends, playing computer games or listening to music. You can help them by asking them to do smaller, clearly defined amounts.

Instead of: ‘I said, ‘Clear the table!’

say: ‘Please will you put the glasses on the top rack of the dishwasher.’

Instead of: ‘I’ve asked you to tidy your room and you’re just lolling around on the bed! Do I have to do everything around here?’

say: ‘Start by taking everything off the floor.’

then: ‘That looks better already. Now put the clean clothes away and the dirty clothes in the wash.’

then: ‘Looking good! Just shut each drawer and the job’s done.’

Instead of: ‘You moan about there being no food in the house, and then can’t be bothered to help me bring it in from the car.’

say: ‘I’d like everyone to bring two carrier bags in from the car please.’

or: ‘Let’s see if we can get all the shopping into the kitchen in three journeys.’

Instead of: ‘Stop making a meal of it, it’s only eight pages!’

say: ‘Have a go at reading three pages.’

then: ‘That’s almost half! now try three more.’

then: ‘Two more pages and you’re done.’

I think what Lucinda is trying to say is it’s how we word things to boys that gets them interested. I also find they get alon better if you make a game of it all. Of course my boys are only 7 at the moment so I have yet to experience teenage boys, but have teenage girls. Can it be worse than those hormones? oh

Avoid nagging and shouting at your children.

Limit what you say. Keep it positive.

1. Use a gesture -point to the bin

2. Say it in a word – ‘bin.’

3. Give information -‘Litter goes in the bin.’

4. Describe the problem – ‘There are sweet papers on the ground.’

5. State how you feel (then drop it) – ‘I find it very frustrating to have to remind you to put litter in the bin.’

6. State positive expectations -‘I expect everyone to put their litter in the bin.’

7. Point out what needs to be done – ‘Those sweet papers need to go in the bin.’

8. Use humour and playfulness – ‘Looks like there’s been a tornado around here.’

9. Break the problem into manageable chunks – ‘Bring me six pieces of litter.’

10. Put it in writing – ‘Litter in the bin please’

11. Countdown – ‘I want the floor clean by the time I count down from 20.’

12. Brainstorm the problem – Define the problem. Litter is not being put in the bin. Write down as many imaginative ideas as possible. Agree on a workable solution.