Children learn a lot from their parents and those around them, including how to behave in different situations. For this reason, you must provide constant guidance that reinforces positive behaviour. This guidance should follow positive parenting principles. This approach focuses on guiding and nurturing instead of using negative reinforcement, which can lead to unintended consequences.
Set Clear Expectations
Children have better behaviour when they understand what you expect from them. Set clear rules and boundaries that are appropriate for their age, communicate expectations clearly, and reinforce them where necessary.
As you do this, remember that the child’s age will determine how well they understand and meet the set expectations. For example, toddlers and young children typically have limited impulse control and may have difficulty following instructions.
The key to making this work is consistency. If you constantly change the rules and expectations, they will get confused, and this can lead to behavioural challenges.
Model the Behaviour You Expect from Them
As established, children watch those around them to understand how to behave, so what you do is more important than what you say when modelling positive behaviour. If you want your child to be polite or manage their emotions effectively, you should learn to do it yourself.
If you do not want them to raise their voice when frustrated, learn to remain calm in situations where you would otherwise let your emotions control your reaction.
Children do better when they have consistency and routines in their lives. Predictable daily routines can make things much easier for everyone by making the children feel safe and secure in the home.
Stability, consistency, and routines are especially important for foster children who need guidance on what to expect and the security that comes from that. Creating such an environment allows them to better control their emotions, and for you to reinforce positive behaviour. If you are fostering in Ayr, you can reach out to your foster care agency to learn more about creating the safe and stable environment your foster children deserve.
Use Simple and Positive Instructions
Clear, short instructions that are appropriate for the child’s age work much better because this makes it easier for them to understand and remember what you are saying. Also, positive instructions lead to better behaviour than negative ones because they guide your child in positive ways.
A good example is when a parent wants their child to stop doing something. Instead of telling them to stop doing it, tell them what to do. The latter is more friendly and will lead to better outcomes.
Praise Them for Doing Well
This is a positive reinforcement technique that works in numerous situations and for children of different ages. Praise your child when they do something well to reinforce that behaviour. When doing this, remember to show them how to do things right so they see better results, feel good about doing it, and become more open to doing it in the future.
If they do not do it right, use positive language and instructions to correct them because being negative will lead to them avoiding it in the future.
Modelling and encouraging positive behaviour in your children will help them have better outcomes and thrive in the future. There are different approaches to doing this, and you should tailor your approach to your child, their age, and the specific circumstances that led to that teachable moment.