"You can bounce the ball on the floor" "You can yell loudly at the park" aka "You can (action) (somewhere safe)"
Mumma, do you shout "Don't RUN!"?
"DON'T RUN!!" you yell at your child as you follow along with their siblings walking back to the car, and they turn around and give you that cheeky smile that screams to you "I'm gonna do it!!!"
Why!? Do they want us to panic? Are they doing it for attention? Why must they run everywhere? They have no fear!
More than misbehaviour?
Maybe it's deeper than expected. Maybe it's a mixture of things. Who knows, but something that has helped tremendously is telling them the action word they CAN do. The SAFE option.
This is a little bit of false choice, mixed with positive parenting, mixed with language and child development and how the brain functions.
High-needs children often have multiple areas of developmental delays and struggle in many areas, so our language surrounding them can make a huge, yet seemingly minute difference to them.
If you haven't read anything about false choice its something along the lines, and to summarise really poorly: Thinking about YOUR objective - getting to the car, for example. Then giving options on how to get there which in child development of independence is making choices for themselves. For example "do you want to walk or skip to the car?"
A new approach...
This technique is an easy play, if you manage to remember to do it, and makes it clear that they will go to the car but they also have a choice.
In this scenario, you wouldn't say something like "Run to the car or skip to the car" because running is the behaviour you want to avoid.
However as a backup, if the false choice fails and your ND (neurodiverse) child is running to the car anyway, A quick technique of language change could be your best friend "WALKING!!" you hear yourself start to yell to your child.
Yes, an action word. With "Don't run" and other language involving the word don't often left me wondering as a child what to do instead, of course, left to my own devices the conclusion I made inevitably wasn't something that was pleasing to my parents, and I often felt like I landed in trouble, so became compliant in my behaviours, instead of embracing and cultivating my uniqueness in a structured way.
Keeping it SIMPLE is key, however!! Especially for those who struggle with auditory processing or executive functioning delays, or young children. No need to lecture!
"You can (action word) (safe place)"
simple. effective. even fun!
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