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Saturday, February 02, 2008

How to Help Your Child to Behave Well

'I don't know why Mummy is always shouting at me. I don’t think I am being bad, but she shouts at me anyway. I try to help but that gets me shouted at as well.'

Could this be your child? Does it feel like all you do is yell at her? Life does not have to be like this. Spend a few minutes reading this article and find out how you could transform your life and help your child to become more responsible and self confident.

It is easy to get into certain habits of behavior - often without knowing it. For instance, when your child leaves the table without putting her plates over to the sink what do you do? Do you remind her to take the plates over or do you shout that she never remembers to do this one simple thing? What about the times she does remember, are you as quick to praise her as you are to shout at her?

It’s a very simple idea, but very true nevertheless - using positive praise can improve your life. It really can transform your home life. Try this for a week or two and you will see a change in your child’s attitude, and probably your own too!

You can start today. Try to notice when your child behaves well and comment on how good she is doing. Don’t wait for some big event, tidying her room or coming when you call are both opportunities for praise. It is important to keep praising her good behavior whenever you get the chance.

Encourage your child to continue to be well behaved by noticing when she is behaving well and praising her. Remarking on her good behavior in front of other people reinforces how pleased you are with her.

Your child wants you to be interested in her and will try to behave better to get this good attention.

Use positive praise to target any bad habits too. Often bad behavior is 'rewarded' with a parent's attention, being shouted at is better than being ignored! When your child behaves in a way that you dislike do not give her any attention, try turning away from her and ignoring the behavior. Return to praising any good behavior as soon as you can.

Changing your own behavior so that you notice your child being good will encourage her to try to act better too. It is important to keep up the positive praise.

Too much criticism is bad for your child’s self esteem. And bad on your nerves!

The key to making this work is to keep up the positive praise when it is appropriate, do not praise if it is not deserved. Having a well behaved child can be as easy as changing your own behavior. Be sure to try this today.

Please note this works the same for both boys and girls, but it is easier to the child as her throughout this article rather than the more awkward ‘him/her’.