Encouraging good behavior isn’t always easy. Children go through many different phases where they test behavior boundaries to see what they can get away with. If you’re going through a particularly difficult behavior phase with your child, you may be wondering what to do to help him through it.
Here are a few things you can try to encourage better behavior in your child.
Lead By Example
All children will copy the example they’re given. It’s up to you to demonstrate good behavior for them to copy. Think about what you do and say when you get angry or frustrated.
Try to demonstrate calming techniques like walking away from a frustrating situation or taking time to breathe before acting. It’s also a good idea to look for the positives in any given situation instead of just focusing on the negatives.
Offering rewards for good behavior is a good way to establish good habits. The rewards don’t have to be big. They could be something as simple as candy or phone case stickers.
Try using a rewards chart at the same time. Each time your child behaves well, put a point on the rewards chart. If your child can get a point for each day in the week, a reward can be given at the end of each week.
Go To Your Child’s Level
Communicating with your child is important. However, if you’re shouting and pointing your finger from a height, you may not get a good response. When you need to communicate something to your child, go down to his level.
Make sure you can look each other in the eyes and then talk calmly. If your child is having a temper tantrum, wait with him until the tantrum is over and he’s in a better frame of mind to listen to you.
Choose Your Battles
Not every battle is worth fighting. It’s important to not hold your child to unachievable standards of perfection. Just like you, your child will have bad days.
If your child is misbehaving because he’s tired or feeling unwell, you may want to think about giving him a pass. Some battles are not worth fighting for the sake of your sanity.
Catch Good Moments
You may catch your child playing nicely and behaving well without thinking about it. If you notice your child being good absentmindedly, be sure to offer lots of praise. Praise from a parent or guardian is just as good as offering a reward.
Making a big fuss of good behavior will show your child what behaviors are good and what is expected of him so he knows what to repeat.
Let Your Child Know How You Feel
It’s okay to communicate how your child’s bad behavior makes you feel. Let your child know that bad behavior makes you feel sad but you want to work together to make things better for you both.
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