10 Tips to Bring Out His Best


Boys have a different way of connecting with you and with the world. You can help him by understanding his way of communicating. Remember, it is HIS job to try out a wide range of behavior. It is YOUR job to interpret and guide him into a socially acceptable range, age-appropriately.These tips aren't just for boys - girls benefit from these strategies, too.WARNING: Do not attempt to implement all of these at once! Choose one or two, practice, adjust as needed.

1. Define the problem clearly.

Brainstorm rules together. Set clear, simple rules. Enforce them fairly and consistently. Make sure you are an example of the rules that have been set.

2. Gesture.

Point to the infraction or to the rule as it is posted rather than talking too much.

3. One word.

Resist filling in details. Speak firmly and calmly. Choose nouns, rather than verbs. Sometimes an interested, “Hmm…” will be enough to prompt action.

4. Give information.

Give the rule again, as information. Describe what needs to happen. “We can go to the park as soon as your room is clean.”

5. State how you feel (and then drop it).

Describe your feelings and then take a deep breath and move on. “I was disappointed when I came home and saw that your chores weren’t done.”

6. State expectations in the positive.

It is often easy to say what we don’t want, rather, ask yourself: “What do I want instead?”

7. State what needs to happen.

Describe specifically what needs to be done, focusing on the object rather than the person.

8. Write it down.

Post the rules. Write a note or card, which allows you to think about what you want to say and allows boy a chance to digest and determine action.

9. Adjust the outer environment.

Are your boy’s physical needs being met? Boys are easily overstimulated and guard against it by acting out. A quiet, simple environment will support your boy’s development. Be aware the children take in images and words literally, with no ability to filter. Media images, including video games, have long term impacts on behavior, stress, learning disorders, and social adjustment.

10. Feed your son’s inner life.

Staying connected may take longer but its important that all adult’s in the boy’s life persist. Provide healthy male role models in real life and through literature. Acknowledge all of his feelings while limiting his behavior.

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