Encouraging good behaviour or habits

Fun books for children

Tips for encouraging good behaviour or habits 

  • Rewards systems. 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 the next day, for 7 year old it would be OK to have a reward at the end of the week. 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.
  • 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. This is absolutely key as it makes success more likely. Set the bar at a level that you think is achievable.
  • 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.