In today’s world many parents are so quick to notice the annoying or bad habits that children do. We are fast to say things like, “Stop that!” or “Don’t do that!”. Sure, that will get the child to stop what they are doing for a moment or two, but in the long run that will not prohibit them from doing the same thing in the future. Rather than catching your child doing something wrong, try to catch your child behaving appropriately. By providing positive reinforcement you will be more likely to have your child repeat these desired behaviors more consistently. Below are four tips on how to catch your child being good.
4 Tips On How To Show Your Child Positive Reinforcement:
- Catch Them In The Act. The quicker you catch the child in the act the better. Try to make sure that you provide praise as soon as the behavior occurs and try not to prolong or delay the reinforcement.
- Be Specific. When your child is doing something appropriately be sure to draw attention to him or her by letting them know that you are proud of them, and more specifically, exactly why you are proud. Do not use generic praise (i.e., “Nice job!” or “You are the best!”) but make sure you specifically say what your child did well, see examples below
- Johnny, nice job sharing the Legos with your brother!
- Sarah, I love how you are using an inside voice while your sister is taking a nap!
- George, thank you for picking up your toys without me asking!
- Don’t Just Use Words. In addition, to providing specific examples/situations in which you are proud of your child also add in physical and tangible forms of praise and excitement. Pair your words with a:
- high five or fist pound
- pat on the back
- stamps and stickers
- Have Them Earn Rewards. Your child can also earn little tickets or coupons when you catch them doing a desired behavior (i.e., behaving appropriately, doing chores without being asked, helping a younger sibling, sharing, etc.). Once they get a certain amount of tickets or coupons they can choose a special reward (i.e., picking out an extra story at bedtime, having a few extra minutes to play the Wii, getting a special snack like an ice cream cone, selecting the afternoon activity, etc.).