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20 Ways to Reinforce Good Behavior in Children

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Cross Post by Erin Kurt

Why is it easier to say something to our kids when we’re angry at them than when they are doing what we want them to do?

Picture a lazy Sunday afternoon and you’re reading your favorite magazine while sipping a cup of tea. Your children are in the next room playing a game together, having a wonderful time and getting along famously. What are the chances that you would get up, walk to the next room and say, “It’s so nice to see you two having such a great time together”? Probably slim. Why? Because when we parents are happy and content ourselves, we aren’t particularly motivated to move from what’s making us content.

Now imagine that your children in the next room begin screaming and arguing. Your heart begins to beat faster, anger begins to swell inside you and thoughts like, “What is going on? Why can’t they just play nicely? I was having such a relaxing time by myself!” begin to run through your head. Now you are motivated – you are MAD! What are the chances of you getting up, stomping into the next room and yelling at the kids to, “Be quiet!”?

Unfortunately, the outcome of this “Speak only when we see negative behavior Syndrome” is that our kids mostly hear from us when we have something negative to say rather than positive feedback. They receive the message that they are just annoying to us.

The antidote? Positive verbal and non-verbal reinforcement.

thumbsup

Here are 20 ways to show or tell your children that you appreciate their positive behaviors.

  1. “Thanks for wiping the kitchen counter so nicely”
  2. “I think you got ready for school in record time this morning!”
  3. “I loved how you persevered after getting frustrated with your homework tonight.”
  4. “I saw you on the soccer field. You played hard!”
  5. “It was so nice dining out with you tonight.”
  6. “Have I told you lately how much I appreciate how you keep your room so tidy?”
  7. Give a rub on the back after your child has done something you asked.
  8. Give your child a wink and a smile after they accomplish something difficult to show you are proud of them.
  9. Give your child a thumb or two thumbs up after you see him/her completing a task around the house.
  10. “Good job on that math test, Julie. I know you studied hard.”
  11. “I’m so proud of how you _______________.”
  12. “I’m so proud to call you my son/daughter.”
  13. Write a special note and put it in your child’s desk at school.
  14. Write a special note and put it in your child’s lunch bag.
  15. Smile at your child and stroke their hair after they have made a good choice about something.
  16. Buy a “just because” toy, game, or puzzle and attach a note or card expressing the reason you are giving the gift. Do they always hang up their coat which keeps your house tidy? Do they always finish their homework on time?
  17. “That puppy really likes you!”
  18. “Dad and I were so proud of the way you behaved tonight at our friend’s house. You were polite and tried to join in the conversation.”
  19. “Wow, how creative. I like how you used the color purple here”
  20. Leave a heart-shaped note in your child’s jacket pocket thanking him/her for a job well done on a task they always do around the house.

In order to remind themselves to use praise, some parents find it helpful to make a note and put it where they can see it often. The note might read, “notice the positive” or “catch ‘em doing good.”.

Catch your kids being good. It will have a profound effect on the atmosphere in your home. Whatever it takes, I assure you it will be worth it.

How do you reinforce the behavior in your household? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of ErinParenting.com and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. Erin has also recently launched the Stress-Free Parenting Club, a private, exclusive club for women. For other great tips and to receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit http://www.erinparenting.com.



5 Secrets to Raising a Courteous, Well-Mannered Child

by Erin A. Kurt

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It is such a beautiful feeling when everywhere you go people marvel at how lovely it is to be around your child, whether it be in a store, restaurant, friendly visit or classroom. It is not so lovely when you cringe inside at your child’s behavior, rudeness or lack of ability to interact confidently in a social environment. So, how do we ensure that we raise well-mannered, socially competent and polite children?

There are some basic strategies that are highly effective. One is to learn and use my 4-Step Discipline technique as this creates the perfect platform in which to build upon. Children learn how to be self-disciplined from it and research shows that self-disciplined children are more self-confident, polite, compassionate and generally nice to be around.

Other effective ways are:

1. Prioritize Courtesy

Commit to raising a courteous child. Reinforce politeness and the importance of good manners everyday so your kids know that that is how your family treats people in and out of the home. Being civil, respectful and courteous is expected. Period. You do not listen or give attention to mouthy, rude talking.

2. Be an example of courtesy.

Children learn how “to be” by observing us (their parents). So, remember to always say please and thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, and speak kindly to and of others. Seeing you and your partner do this consistently will show your child that this is just normal behavior for your family.

3. Model new manners.

When my son was old enough (3 years old), we taught him how to politely order at a restaurant and ask for the bill. He feels so important and confident and of course, we always reinforce how his manners impacted the waiter or waitress, i.e.: smiles, laughter, happiness.

4. Comment when you see other people using good manners.

When someone holds a door open for you, be sure to say, “Thank you” to the person then continue with, “That was very kind of that man to hold the door for us, wasn’t it?” My son, now 3 1/2 years old, will hold doors open for people – imagine the smiles he gets! His comments are, “Mommy, I helped that lady. She smiled at me!”

5. Use the phrase, “Try that again in a polite way.”

When your child responds to you or anyone else in an impolite way be sure to point it out and use the phrase above. If they refuse simply say, “When you talk nicely I’ll listen to you” or if need be, use my 4-Step Discipline Technique.

Vast numbers of studies find that well-mannered children are more popular and do better in school. Teachers speak glowingly of them and parents make sure they are on the top of their kid’s invite lists. Let’s face it, polite children are just nicer to be around!

In addition to this, courteous kids are more considerate of others thoughts and feelings and are more respectful. Courteous kids also have an edge in adult life too, as businesses report that their first interview choices are applicants who display good social graces.

All in all, it pays to raise well-mannered children; you benefit, your children benefit and the world benefits. I’d say it’s a pretty important priority, wouldn’t you?

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of ErinParenting.com and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. video series and receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit www.erinparenting.com.

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10 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Special

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by Erin A. Kurt

 

As parents we all want our children to know we love them, but do they always know that we LIKE them?

When our children know that we LIKE them for sure, it has a much deeper effect on their love of themselves. They also feel extra safe and secure; as if what they thought they knew can now be accepted as truth.

Although it’s important to tell your children you love them often, here are 10 ways you can deepen the understanding that you really mean what you say.

1. Make a big deal out of greetings and good-byes Let him know you’re always excited to see him.

2. Touch a lot. Hold hands. Tousle hair. Hug.

3. Once a month go on a special outing alone with her. Walk through the park, share an ice cream sundae, take a bike ride. Do anything that allows lots of time for interaction. But choose something you both enjoy. She needs to see you having a good time.

4. Ask to sit next to him at dinner, in the car, or at the movies.

5. Know what’s going on in her daily schedule and ask how that science quiz went or if the field trip was interesting. Tell her you’ll think of (pray for) her on big days. And then do it.

6. Use a pet name.

7. Ask for hugs and kisses often.

8. Include him in weekly menu planning. Ask him what he would like in his lunch (healthy options of course) as well as grocery store suggestions.

9. Trust her to take a picture on the family vacation, or to use the mixer to help you make a cake. She can do anything you believe she can do.

10. Leave an encouraging message in his lunch box on a day he’s been dreading, or…just because!

 

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of ErinParenting.com and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. video series and receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit www.erinparenting.com.

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What is the REAL purpose of being a parent?

A new session Of Active Saturdays starts 22 January 2011 | #Karachi #Pakistan #Islam

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