As a parent, you are the first teacher of your children. It is your responsibility to teach your children with acceptable behavior.
As a parent, you are the first teacher of your children. It is your responsibility to teach your children with acceptable behavior. There are some effective techniques that you may use in guiding your children's behavior. They are the following:
1. Praising children's accomplishments. Praising may be verbal or nonverbal. "Good work!" "I'm proud of you!" are examples of verbal praise. A smile, a hug, and a pat on the back are forms of nonverbal praise.
Children are inspired when they are praised. But don't overuse it. If you do, it will not be as effective. It is also most effective to praise the children while they are still in the act. So, give praise immediately.
2. Persuading the children. Through persuasion, children are encouraged to act or behave positively. For example, a child who isolates himself can be persuaded to join by appealing to his or her need to belong. A child who interferes with another child's activity also needs to be persuaded. He can be persuaded by helping him understand the other child's feelings.
3. Redirecting the attention of children. Redirecting means diverting or turning the children's attention in a different direction. One way to redirect is through distraction. Children often cry when their parents leave. They can be distracted by offering a concrete object that could be interesting to them, like a toy or their favorite story book.
Redirection is also helpful in making active children express themselves in more socially acceptable ways. For instance, an active child is pushing around another child. Redirect his attention to activities that are physically demanding to help him release his energy. Provide with appealing substitute, such as playing with a punching bag, carpentry tools, and other physically demanding activities.
4. Suggesting or placing thoughts for consideration into children's minds. Suggesting often leads to action. Just remember to make your suggestions positive. Lead the children's thoughts and feelings in a desirable direction. Negative suggestions usually produce negative behavior. For example, you tell a child to listen carefully to your story, he will follow you. But if you tell him he is noisy and naughty, he will probably continue to act this way.
Use many suggestions as you can every day. You have many daily opportunities to mold behavior through suggestion.
5. Prompting children to stop an unacceptable action or start an acceptable one. Prompting can be used to prepare children for transitions. Prompting differs from suggesting because it requires an immediate response. It is either verbal or nonverbal.
Always remember to make prompting simple and non-critical. Prompt the children in an impersonal manner. Prompting may be repeated often until acceptable behavior is developed.
6. Listening to the children. This involves giving the children your full attention. Listen carefully to what the child is saying. This lets the child know that you are interested in what he is telling you. In this way, he would realize that people will listen to him. Listening is a nonverbal skill that helps children develop self-esteem.
7. Setting a good model. Young children learn by imitating adults. They imitate how you speak or move. Thus, modeling involves both verbal and nonverbal actions. Try to be a good model by showing appropriate behavior. Modeling can be used in many situations. The following are some tips you can use for modeling behavior:
- Accept your own mistakes.
- Be a good listener.
- Use proper manners.
- Recognize children's accomplishments.
- Acknowledge the feelings of children.
- Be honest.
- Keep your promises.
- Obey house rules.
8. Warning the children. When children are misbehaving, remind them of their misbehavior and tell them that they will be punished if they continue. Make your warning only once. If the behavior continues, proceed with the consequences. When warning, use a firm voice. But do not shout. However, be sure that your voice reflects your displeasure at the child's behavior.
9. Ignoring the children. Do not encourage inappropriate behavior. When a child is able to get your attention by crying or throwing tantrums, you have reinforced th child's inappropriate behavior. He will likely to continue this behavior rather than control it. So, if the child's behavior is not dangerous, ignore him. Avoid acknowledging the behavior. Do not look directly at the child. Changing a child's behavior takes time. It is not a quick process, so you need patience.