Encouraging good behaviour or habits

Encouraging good behaviour - tried and trusted top tips from this excellent Australian parenting website: 

Family Lives topics include pester power, sibling rivalry, coping with challenging behaviour and how to use positive discipline. See more on this link and watch this video about positive discipline

Parenting a child with behavioural issues. A more detailed look at why children might struggle with their behaviour, what to look out for and what you can do from MindEd. Click here to see more

Books for children

What to Do When Bad habits take Hold- A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Nail-biting and more
by Dawn Huebner. A great book to help children overcome habits that they find annoying or embarrassing like thumb sucking, nail biting, hair twirling or anything else. Available Here

What to Do if you Grumble too much - a Kids' Guide to Overcoming Negativity by Dawn Huebner
Available here

Tips for encouraging good behaviour or good habits 

  • Although all parents probably use punishment or threats at times, they are often not helpful because they tend to make children more worried and angry. If there is a behaviour you want to encourage, or a habit to overcome, a rewards system can often be much more successful. If you and your child decide to use a reward system of some kind there are some really good tips on how to make that work best. The younger the child, the more immediate the reward should be, to link it directly to the behaviour you are rewarding. For a 3 year old the reward needs to be straight away, for a 5 year old no later than the same or next day, for 7 year old it would be OK to have reward at the end of the week. By the time your child is nearing the end of primary school, they may well be happy to "save up' a reward for a bigger treat at the end of the month.
  • Reward partial success. Very important! That means, for example, you don’t only reward a night where your child didn’t creep into your bed, you also reward a night where your child crept into your bed only once, or came in twice but went back to their own bed. Decide on the reward together if your child is old enough. It could be something you do together or a treat with a friend- it doesn’t have to be a present, sweets or money.
  • Surprisingly rewards systems can work even for problems where the child isn’t necessarily in control e.g. bedwetting. It seems that they can work subconsciously. Again reward partial success and don’t dwell on times when it goes wrong.

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