Dialoguing with my children, and really sitting at their level helps me to gain rapport with my children. So I keep up friendly conversations with my kids throughout the day. It makes my job so much easier because the kids view me as a person of interest, who is interested in them.
For example, I might share the daily antics of my two cats Herbert and Arthur; I might talk about my weekend grocery shopping and what I like to buy at the grocery store; I might reminisce about the time as a small child I was stuck in the mud wearing my new cowboy rainboots, and Mom had to pull me out but one boot got lost for abit - and then I find I am rewarded with wonderful stories from my children throughout the day about their weekend, or their pets, or any special thing they might feel like telling me.I have found my children to have very good memeories, and to ask me questions related to an incident I might have brought up the month past.
I think this is a good way to engage children as it is an informal way to enhance cognitive and language development, and creates a relationship of trust.
Then I feel I am more likely to have the children listen and follow requests I make of them, (not always), and I believe that if we are enjoying mutual conversations at say lunch time there is less possibility of undesirable behaviors. My children feel respected by me when I dialogue with them, and so sit and eat in a respectful manner. Not always, sometimes people wriggle, or sit on their knees, but I think being reminded helps the child sit more safely.
I feel if I haven't worked at this with my children; if I haven't done the groundwork of establishing comfort and rapport, and then I expect them to behave in respectful ways themselves - well then I am putting the cart before the horse.
That's all for now!