Posted on May 18 2021 by FHPPS in Blog, Parenting

I recently attended a fantastic parent information morning facilitated by Yolande Roed, as part of the HAND IN HAND TALK SERIES, on discovering how to transform unwanted behaviours and power struggles with children by using positive strategies.

What a valuable hour and a half filled with concrete examples and positive tools and strategies!!

So what do we need to do as parents to transform unwanted behaviours?

  1. A mind Shift…….! Yes we need to change our way of doing things. Change behaviours so that the child feels good about himself and then his behaviour changes.

Children need evidence. If they have honest evidence then they believe it and then they want to do more of it!

For example:

Don’t say:   (This can be empty praise)

* “Well done!” OR “Good Boy!”

* “That was good!”

* “Super room!”

Rather say:

* “Well done you are brushing your teeth so well today, you are taking your time and brushing each tooth!”

* “I like the way you behaved today as you used good manners by saying thank you!”

* “Your room looks so lovely because you packed all your lego into the lego box and put it on the shelf, well done!”


Efficient praise brings about change.

*You are directing the brain.

*It builds up what you want to see more of.

*It is authentic.

*It describes exactly what you saw.

So describe exactly what you saw, give details. It gives the child evidence. It is believable!!!


  1. It is important to be very clear on what you stand for.

Ask yourself, “What does respect mean to me?” “What do we stand for as a family?”

Remember you are triggered when your values are compromised. You need to become an expert in what you do not want. We know so well what we don’t want. But do we know what behaviours we do want?

If I am having a good time with my child:

*What do I look like?

*What do I sound like?

*What do I feel like?


Use your body language to help your child know and understand how you feel.




  1. Find the ‘gold nuggets’ in your child’s personality!!!

Can you look at the unwanted behaviours and find some good in them and concentrate on the good part, promote that and discourage the unwanted part.

If your child is Rebellious the positive is that they may be Independent.

If your child is Demanding……………………………………………… Persistent.

If your child is Shy…………………………………………………………..Cautious.

If your child is Wild………………………………………………………….Adventurous and energetic.


NB….. We are born to shine, but sometimes experiences take some of our light away!!


  1. Understand the A B C of Behaviour

It is like a story it has a beginning and a middle and an end.

A is the beginning and usually is the information you share.

B is the middle it is the behaviour that you see.

C Is the consequences. (Just like the moral of the story at the end)


If you are stuck with unwanted behaviour there is something wrong with the consequence.

Consequences need to be meaningful!


Stay above the behaviour- you are the adult and the professional!


Don’t get stuck in the instruction phase!!!! (Don’t explain and explain and nag and nag!)


Catch the moments of good behaviour and comment with authenticity and honesty.

Anchor praise with physical touch. If our bodies experience satisfaction it releases dopamine- the ‘happy hormone.’


Let’s remember:

Discipline means- to teach and train an individual until they become proficient and skilful resulting in self-control!

It’s healthy to learn the ‘unfun’ stuff as that is what life is sometimes about!


When you thought I wasn’t looking

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

Author: Mary Rita Schilke Sill

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