As a mom of two and an aunt to 6, it is essential to know ways how to encourage appropriate behavior with the children. Below are some of the effective ways to help kids to be in their best behavior:
1. Learn to praise children. Praising our children is very important. Not every minute, but when they did something great, praising can go a long way. Timely praise can also motivate other kids to behave appropriately and learn proper behavior. Praising creates a positive atmosphere at home.
Not all praise is helpful though. General praise like “You’re a good boy.” Or ”Such a smart girl” is not as genuine as descriptive or specific wherein you tell your child exactly what you like about him or her. ‘I like the colors you chose in that painting,’ for example. This enables your child to understand precisely what they have done well and will assure them that you really means what you say and that you are paying attention.
Effort-based praise is another type of praise that can help our children develop a growth mindset. This can motivate and encourage your child to do their best regardless of the outcome.
It is also important not to scold them negatively but to explain to them the consequences if they misbehave. Catching good behavior at the right timing and highlighting it so we can encourage repetition. Try to pick a good one rather than the bad. I try to avoid shaming or guilt provoking phrases to motivate the kids to perform or to obey, instead help them to empathize with what others feel when they misbehave.
2. Listen proactively. Always be interested in what the children are saying. I make sure I listen since I am the type who wants to accomplish a lot; I tend to not listen intently to what they are saying as it might delay my time in doing activities I prepared. I need to pay attention when they are talking or suggesting something. The more we understand what they are going through, the more we encourage positive behavior.
3. Strive to be a role model. Being a Role Model is crucial as I can’t ask them to share how they feel, be enthusiastic, or be present if I don’t look very interested. It’s my responsibility to set the example of what I want the kids to be. Showing or expressing to the kids how I feel so they can learn how to show their emotions as well is not easy, but it is needed. If the kids are emotionally aware about what they are feeling, we can support them in their problems at home or in school, thus encouraging better behavior and avoiding meltdowns.
4. Make sure the environment itself encourages good behavior. By simply making sure that the kids have the freedom to play, the place to be stimulated, have the proper tool to have a meaningful experience, we are helping them to be at their best behavior. If the kids are engaged positively, they will be busy in the right way, and the chance of them misbehaving is lesser. Also, to avoid shame and competition, I make sure the experiences I provide are easy and not too complicated for the kid’s level.
5. Have a good sense of humor. When giving children a task, I try to inject some sense of humor into it as humor can eliminate pressure and stress to the children. Having an adult with a sense of humor can create playful, friendly and light environment. Children learn better when they are playful and having fun.
6. Make time to review and reflect. in every home and social settings, it is not always fun and sunshine, there’s also discouragements, difficulties, and struggles. Organize an informal meeting with the children to create time and space where painful experiences or emotions can be processed. In Emosyon Bibo, we believe that the more our kids talk about their emotions, the more they are able to have a control ove them. As Dr. Dan Siegel, a psychiatry clinical professor in the US, says, “Name it to tame it.”