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Giving Our Kids SMALL Steps to BIG Results & Littles who Don't Listen

Practical Parenting Hint - EXPECTATIONS and STANDARDS are not the same thing. Use expectations as a tool to move your child toward the fixed standard. Let's talk about it in episode 61, Giving Our Kids SMALL Steps to BIG Results.

Mom, what is an area of frustration that you're having with your child? Do  you feel like you've told her a million times but it's still a problem?   Perhaps you need to break it down into small steps. We’re talking today about changing our expectations with our kids to accommodate LITTLE steps that lead to BIG improvement.

We’re talking today about changing our expectations with our kids to accommodate LITTLE steps that lead to BIG improvement.

Kids need little steps to make big improvements.

Sometimes I think we see the end goal for our child in a given area and we get frustrated because we’ve told them a million times to do this or to stop doing that and, well, I think it is possible in a lot of those situations, that we didn’t STOP and THINK things through well enough before we established an expectation or before we tell them to do something or not do something. What we really needed to do FIRST was identify the standard, then set some LITTLE STEPS to bring them through BEFORE we expect the big improvement.

Attentive & Obedient - Example of a Three-Year-Old

A mother of a three year old this week asked me, “How do I get my child to listen? He’s so busy, easily distracted, super active, always moving… He doesn’t stop to listen to me so getting him to obey is really difficult. It’s not that he has a defiant SPIRIT, but he just doesn’t listen."

The mom's standard is that her son would listen and obey. On this week's podcast, we look at this example and break down that end goal into small character development steps that can lead to being ATTENTIVE & OBEDIENT. The first SMALL VICTORY STEP is to teach your young child to stop and look at you when they hear you call their name. I teach you how to do that first step and the subsequent steps as well, in episode 61.

PRINCIPLES for Setting Standards that can be applied to all ages of children in a variety of struggles:

1. Determine the Appropriate Fixed Standard in a given area of character, actions, attitudes, or words

2. Identify small victory steps to take on their road toward the standard. Set your expectation on the first small step. Then give your child CLEAR EXPECTATIONS & INSTRUCTIONS one small victory step at a time.

3. Be CONSISTENT about enforcing the small steps and be your child's biggest cheerleader in their efforts toward the standard!

OBEDIENCE isn't a bad word, even if it is unpopular in today's society

Every Child needs opportunities to 1.LEAD 2.FOLLOW. 3.Be a TEAM PLAYER


There's lots of great skills to help our children develop INCLUDING the ability to comply and obey and have manners. Sometimes people think that teaching a child to obey stifles creativity, ingenuity, or strength. However,  obedience is an opportunity to teach our kids cooperation, flexibility, team skills, compliance, and humility - all are necessary skills from childhood to adulthood in various situations and in a variety of roles - from employee, to citizen, to student. Every organization, sport, job, community does have some rules to follow if we want to participate effectively and get the best experience. We don't have to choose leader OR follower for our child.  We want them to be great at both!  So, we should expect them to cooperate with good SOCIAL HABITS and humble obedience habits in addition to teaching them leadership skills, creativity, proactive problem-solving, and more.

Did I take the time to = train in the little steps leading to the big result or did I jump right into expecting the BIG IMPROVEMENT?

Here's Mom's Steps to Giving Your Child SMALL Steps to BIG Results

1. Evaluate what is the right standard for me to have on this issue

2. What are the right expectations to put on my child on the road to reaching the standard - what  should the small steps be along the way?  What is a reasonable FIRST STEP EXPECTATION?

3. MAKE IT CLEAR: Am I making  the expectation really clear to my child and being an encouraging cheerleader to my child as they take these small steps toward the big improvement?

4. Be consistent about the expectation and the standard. If you keep moving the target, how can they possibly meet your expectations or make solid improvement in this area? Be consistent.

HELP for Moms of LITTLES

In episode 61, you'll get: * Small Step HABITS for PRESCHOOLERS on their way to being attentive and obedient including the *Communication Skills/Manners of Eye Contact and Saying Someone's Name and Waiting for their attention before you continue talking to them. An additionally, hear Val's *LIST of Ways to positively reinforce good behavior

RESOURCES Mentioned in Episode 61

✅Val's favorite Language Arts Curriculum: Shurley English Method  I'm not an affiliate of this curriculum, I just love it!  I've tried many and this has been the most thorough for teaching grammar to my children.

Episode 61 also included a Marriage Minute w/ Rich & Val - We were asking each other the question, "What makes you feel valued by me?"




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