326: Get good behavior from your child even during the coronavirus outbreak, with Dr. Heather Maguire

Today’s conversation is part of the OkayCon Virtual Summit! – Not sure how much more of this whole stuck-at-home stuff you can take? Go to okaycon.com for a new, relevant interview each Monday and Wednesday, and a watch party each of those weeknights! We will get through this together <3

Dr. Heather Maguire’s day job is that of professor, teaching graduate students how to shape children’s behavior.
My day job is that of parent coach, teaching moms and dads how to, well, shape their children’s behavior.

Today we interview each other – so you get the best ideas on how to shape your child’s behavior to what you want (and need) it to be, as well as the best ideas on how to homeschool and keep it together during this whole crisis.
Even, how to make this into a positive experience, something you and your kiddos can look back on as an adventure that you were on together.

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Go to okaycon.com to watch Heather, and to watch for upcoming presenters at OkayCon 2020!

Click weturnedoutokay.com/326 for notes and links we discuss today : )

Dr. Heather Maguire’s ideas for parenting through this challenging time:
1. Set up a schedule.
Heather shares that it doesn’t have to be some kind of elaborate, color-coded, Excel spreadsheet kind of schedule. I love her expression: have a schedule that reflects “the cadence of your days.”

2. Schedule in touchpoints during the day.
Heather talks about checking in verbally, perhaps at a meal, with each other, and giving kids the opportunity to feel helpful to you. It’s a two-way street : )
During these touchpoint times, how can you make it playful? How can you communicate a sense of adventure?
Heather also emphasizes the asking of open-ended questions. This can help you get an understanding of what your child knows, fears, and needs help with, without communicating a sense of fear or worry yourself.

3. Set up a reward system.
We talk about when and how to use rewards, and not only that but how to back off from them as your child gets better at the tasks for which you initially set up the reward system.

Karen’s ideas for homeschooling during this challenging time:
1. Give yourself and your child permission to not do everything.
We have this idea that we’re going to kick butt at homeschooling… And then reality sets in. Kids don’t actually want to sit and do worksheets or seated work in the 1-hour blocks you had set aside for that.
This is as it should be. We are in a different time right now, with a different set of rules.

2. Give your child some independence over their learning.
What is your child interested in (in a non-screen capacity)? I reference episode 323 of We Turned Out Okay, in which I share more than 30 activities, arranged by amount of adult input, each of which is educational in its own right. Even if it’s not conventional. We’re in unconventional times! Help your child become a self-directed learner, something that will serve them all their lives.

3. Don’t stress about the excessive screen time.
As long as your child isn’t watching YouTube alone! You must be there when they’re watching YouTube, if they are under nine or 10 years old. Read this to find out why. So long as the screen time is age-appropriate and approved by you, excessive screen time is almost a necessary evil right now.

Key Links:

Dr. Heather Maguire’s website, prismbehavior.com, is chock-full of resources for you, including her podcast, great information in video and written form, and a free guide to help you set up a reward system available at prismbehavior.com/freeguide

Heather talks about a program she and her family love and are involved with, safefamilies.com

We share favorite mindfulness apps: Headspace, and Mindfulness Coach from the Veterans Administration

Heather has found good results with a program called Barton Tutoring, to teach reading

Heather also references a favorite podcast of hers, Parent Footprint

Join my email newsgroup for lots of useful, free parenting tools, as well as lots of info on OkayCon, our Virtual Summit that is ongoing right now: sign up at weturnedoutokay.com/weekly

If you need some extra support, especially right now with all the madness, I’m offering special membership rates if you want to join our private coaching community, NPC. Click here for details and to join, so I can personally help you through this extremely challenging time!