Teach your child to ask for what they want

Picture this: Your child screams to get your attention every time a neighbour visits. They yell because they’re thirsty. Or maybe they throw a tantrum because they want something to eat.


When you give in to the screaming, the yelling and the tantrums, you’re accidentally rewarding the behaviour. Instead, teach your child another way to ask for what they want.


Choose a way that your child could communicate what they want. It could be a word, a phrase or a question. When they want your attention they could say, “Excuse me”, or if they want a drink, they could say “Drink”.


If your child can’t speak or has difficulty speaking then you could teach them to use printed words, sign language, gestures or pictures. Make sure it’s a system they can use and that you, and others, can understand. There are now some great apps for tablet computers and mobile phones that can help.


Show them how to communicate what they want and reward them when they do. If they can’t do it on their own straight away show your child again – you could even use physical guidance – and then reward them.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting

This hot parenting topic sure is a conversation starter! It relates to Stepping Stones Triple P’s third step to positive parenting: “Use assertive discipline.” Read more about the seven steps to positive parenting. Here are more hot parenting topics to get you thinking about how to use assertive discipline:

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