Parents and teachers often wonder how to discipline a child with behavioural issues. Although some children really have challenging behaviours in spite of the methods we try. A lot of them just need to have the adults in their lives either to reinforce or make right the way they react, respond, or interact with people. Here are simple strategies that you can do to foster positive behaviour in your children:

1. Compliment efforts

Many of us grow up in families where our own parents are hesitant in bestowing praise. So when it comes to our own children, we do not believe in praises. Affirming our children is not about telling them that everything they do is perfect or terrific. We should affirm effort, not talent. That will help our children to have greater motivation and more positive attitudes toward challenges in the future.

Be specific in your praise so your words don’t feel empty and unrealistic. For instance, you can say

“You persevere through your homework today! Keep up the good work.”
“It was very thoughtful of you to help me wash the dishes tonight.”

2. Catch them doing something good

You could probably find negative things to say to your child all day long. Our children are not perfect. Finding fault with them doesn’t help them to change. Children grow and change when they feel loved, accepted and appreciated. The need to defend themselves will lessen. It makes them want to cooperate.

3. Use positive body language

Don’t underestimate what a smile, high-five, thumbs up, pat on the back can do to children. Take time to know your child to understand how they like to be appreciated and praised.

4. Have fun with your child

Make jokes, say something silly, listen to their jokes, smile often, sing with them, or anything that would make them smile or laugh (make sure it is appropriate for their age).

5. Show your child that you are glad to see them.

Smile when they come into the room, put your arms out for a hug, ask about their day, weekend, and listen intently when they talk…the list goes on and on.

6. Be interested in your child’s interests

Ask them what they like and enjoy. Get excited about their accomplishments, ask them what they want to learn more about. Do activities with your kids (academic or otherwise) that involve their interests, even if it may not be an activity that you truly enjoy.

7. Recognize their feelings with empathy

Be a little more understanding when they are nervous and anxious because they are trying something they haven’t done before, get frustrated because an assignment is too difficult for them, or disappointed because they didn’t get the Star Pupil Award that they worked so hard for. Say empathetic things like, “I understand that this assignment is tough for you” or “I understand that you’re nervous, but I believe in you.” Also, let them know and feel that you are there to always help in any way you can.

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