I was listening to a parenting series about behavior and started thinking about positive reinforcement with children. There are so many valuable lessons I learned as a classroom teacher that have transferred into our home, which I am beyond thankful for. I do my best to be aware of my expectations and discipline with our son because there is so much power in what we say and how we say it. I thought I would share some things I learned as a teacher and working with children in general when it comes to behavior, as well as being a parent.
I would love to know what works well with your children or family!
1.Ask For Desired Behavior
Saying “no” or “stop” to everything can not only be draining, but also puts the focus on negative behavior. Children are lacking the understanding of how it should be corrected or replaced when we don’t give them clear direction. For example if your child is standing up in the chair at dinner instead of saying “stop standing in your chair” you can ask for what you are wanting by saying “please sit on your bottom in your chair”. It can be used for any behavior and allows the child to repeatedly hear the expectation and desired behavior.
2. Prompt To Correct Or Try Again
Children don’t automatically know how to do things including demonstrating appropriate behaviors. It is our responsibility to model it, correct it, and give multipole opportunities to practice it. Asking your child to try something again gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the expectation. For example, if my son says “fill my water up” I will ask him to try again so he can demonstrate how to ask a question nicely. Sometimes your child may have to try again multiple times in a row and that is okay!
3. Communicate On Their Level
Every child is different and needs different things from us. Learn what works best for your children and what they respond to. Communicate to fit their needs so you are speaking with them instead of to them.
BONUS: Have Clear Expectations
Children can experience anxiety and stress when they do not know what is expected of them or what consequences may be. Creating clear and defined expectations will eliminate stress in the home, along with consistency in discipline or techniques.