Encouraging good behaviour

arhendolf By arhendolf, 5th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Toddlers

Things you can do to encourage the behavior you want in your child.

Encouraging good behavior

Children do as you do. Your child watches you to get clues on how to behave in general. You are his role model,so guide him with your behavior. Actions speak louder than words. If you want your child to say ‘please’, say it yourself.

Show your child how you feel. Tell him how his behavior affects you. This will help him see his her own feelings in yours, like a mirror. By the age of three, children can show real empathy. When you start the sentence with ‘I’, it gives your child the chance to see things from your perspective.

Catch her being ‘good’. Give your child a positive feedback when you catch him doing good. You can do this by trying to say six positive comments for every negative comment. The 6-1 ratio keeps things in balance. Remember that if children have a choice only between no attention or negative attention, they will seek out negative attention.

Get down to your child’s level. Kneeling or squatting down next to children is a very powerful tool for communicating positively with them. Getting close allows you to tune in to what they might be feeling or thinking. It also helps them focus on what you are saying or asking for. If you are close to your child and have his attention, there is no need to make him look at you.

‘I hear you.’ Children tend to get frustrated a lot, especially if they can’t express themselves well enough verbally. Active listening is another tool for helping young children cope with their emotions. When you repeat back to them what you think they might be feeling, it helps to relieve some of their tension. It also makes them feel respected and comforted.

Keep promises. When you follow through on your promises, good or bad, your child learns to trust and respect you. This helps also helps your child feel more secure, because it creates a consistent and predictable environment.

Reduce temptation. It’s hard for children to remember not to touch. Reduce the chance for innocent but costly exploration by keeping that stuff out of sight.

Choose your battles. Keeping instructions, requests and negative feedback to a minimum, you create less opportunity for conflict and bad feelings. Rules are important, but use them only when it’s really important.

Whining: be strong. Kids don’t want to be annoying and by giving in when they’re whinging for something, we train them to do it more. ‘No’ means ‘no’, not maybe, so don’t say it unless you mean it. If you say ‘no’ and then give in, children will be whine even more the next time, hoping to get lucky again.

Keep it simple and positive. If you can give clear instructions in simple terms, your child will know what is expected of him. Stating things in a positive way gets their heads thinking in the right direction.

Responsibility and consequences. As children get older, you can give them more responsibility for their own behavior. You can also give them the chance to experience the natural consequences of that behavior. Sometimes, with the best intentions, we do so much for our children that we don’t allow them to learn for themselves. At other times you need to provide consequences for unacceptable or dangerous behavior. For these times, it is best to ensure that you have explained the consequences and that your children have agreed to them in advance.

Say it once and move on. Nagging and criticizing is boring for you and doesn’t work. Your child will just end up tuning you out and wonder why you get more upset. If you want to give him one last chance to cooperate, remind him of the consequences for not cooperating.

Make your child feel important. Start introducing some simple chores or things that she can do to play her own important part in helping the household. This will make her feel important and she’ll take pride in helping out. Children love it when they can contribute to the family. Safe chores help children feel responsible, build their self-esteem and help you out too.

Prepare for challenging situations. There are times when looking after your child and doing things you need to do will be tricky. If you think about these challenging situations in advance, you can plan around your child’s needs. Give him a five-minute warning before you need him to change activities.

Maintain a sense of humor. Another way of diffusing tension and possible conflict is to use humor and fun. You can pretend to become the menacing tickle monster or make animal noises. But humor at your child’s expense won't help. Young children are easily hurt by parental ‘teasing’.


Behavior, Encourage, Good Behavior, Toddlers

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author avatar arhendolf
A mother of three wonderful children, a career woman and a post graduate student at a local state university.

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