Post clear precise rules that he understands. And go over them frequently.
General rules like "Be on Your Best Behavior" mean nothing to him. He needs to know exactly what behaviors he needs to be exhibiting.
If he going to a friends house, I can not say "be on your best behavior", I must tell him:
- Remember your manners (please, thank you, etc)
- Follow directions the first time they are given
- Do not talk back
- It is not your house, you do not always get to do what you want to do
- It's okay to lose if you're playing a game.
General rules that would mean something to a typical 7 year old boy, mean nothing to him. Unless it is spelled out for him, it's only setting him up for failure.
Also, he needs to be reminded several times, as many times he is probably not paying attention to what I'm saying, even when it appears I have his attention.
This week we will be working on posting clear house rules, not just for him but for everyone. Both the older kids will have a copy for their desks and they're will be another hung on the fridge for the whole house.
So far this is what I have:
No talking back.
No screaming, yelling or arguing. (parents, siblings or friends)
Use your manners (thank you, please).
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
No name calling.
Be respectful of others property.
No jumping on furniture.
No door slamming.
Walk, do not run.
No ball playing inside.
Wrestling is only allowed in the basement.
Use an inside voice.
Listen. Do as you are told.
Clean up your belongings.
Do you have known house rules? If so, am I forgetting anything? Any other suggestions?
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