Friday, 21 October 2011

Encouraging better behaviour

Over the past few weeks I've been attending a parenting course which has given me some great tips on how to guide Eden in a positive way that builds up her self esteem and confidence and achieves good behaviour. Many of the tips I was sort of doing already to a certain extent, but the course has helped me name and identify these techniques and therefore improve my awareness of what works. Here's a few of my faves:

I've always tried to praise Eden, to be encouraging over good behaviour, to be enthusiastic when she perseveres and achieves something difficult (like stacking beakers when she was younger), or for example, when she holds it together when frustrated and we avoid a tantrum. I'm sure when I praise her this makes her feel good and that her efforts have been noticed, making her more likely to repeat it again next time.

I especially like to praise and encourage her when I know she overcomes something really difficult for her - like sharing when she'd sooner not, or when she steps out of her comfort zone and does something new and fun for the first time despite being understandably apprehensive initially. I think this has contributed to the fun little girl we have, who is open to new experiences and not easily phased by change.

Eden loves her stickers at the moment. A couple of weeks ago, we were struggling to stop her throwing her food on the floor when she'd finished her meal, something she's done regularly since sitting at the table for meals. Toast wasn't a huge issue to clean up, but a plate of rice was a different story! By introducing a sticker every time she kept her plate on the table when she'd finished, we resolved the behaviour quickly within a couple of days.

Phrasing Positively
I love this! If I say to you 'Don't think of kangaroos' what are you thinking of? In the same way, rather than saying 'Don't run' I say 'Can you walk please'. It works for lots of different situations:

  • 'Don't pull the cat's tail' becomes 'Be gentle with the cat please'
  • 'Don't ignore me' becomes 'Can you listen when I'm talking to you'
All of these I've found are 'tools in the box' for me when it comes to being a parent and encouraging good behaviour.   

No comments: