Having your child show off their good manners can definitely make you feel proud as a parent. We know that encouraging good behaviour to be much more effective than focusing on the negatives. So, to keep that positive and constructive approach moving, here are some tips to get your kid to behave well (well, most of the time anyway!)
1. Set an example
It’s important to remember that your children are your biggest copiers. They watch you like a hawk and if you’re caught slipping, it’s likely they will remember and mirror the behaviour. Specifically, saying please whenever you want something from them will only help it stick in their heads as an important word.
2. Explain the importance
Your little one won’t know the reasoning behind good behaviour by you just telling them what to do. They are curious to understand why things have to be one way, so explain it to them. Tell them how acting well, being respectful, cleaning up, etc makes you happy and other people as well. When they have more knowledge, they will see things from your perspective and become more attached to those actions.
3. Follow through on your words
This is not always the easiest to do, we know. Sticking to what you say will happen if they behave a certain way will show them you are serious and keep your promises. Whether it be good or bad, it will demonstrate the respect and understanding that comes from their actions. For example, if you tell them they can play games with you for 30 minutes longer than normal if they clean up their toys properly, don’t back out on this if you don’t have to.
4. Keep negative feedback to a minimum
Sometimes scolding or strict instructions are the only route to take, but if you can, try to avoid them. Having the space be negative will only increase their desire to do it or their frustration towards an action. Pick your battles and remember the positivity of encouragement.
5. Give lots of praise!
Taking time to outwardly notice when they say thank you or pick up their toys without asking can only stand to encourage them further. They seek your approval so saying, “you did such a great job cleaning up today!” will make them very happy.
6. Give them responsibilities over rules
Instead of saying, “don’t leave your toys on the floor,” tell them, “you will be much happier if your room is clean, so you can pick up your toys!” Making them feel important and included in the process is really beneficial to kids. It helps their effort and self-esteem to feel attached to an action.
Encouraging good behaviour isn’t always easy. As long as you remain consistent, your little one will learn over time and hopefully, it’ll become second nature to them soon enough.