When it comes to kids, their attention spans are definitely something we strive to keep. We get it. Their senses are taking in so much around them and they are curious by nature. However, what happens when you want to reinforce good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour?
One of the best things to do is to act fast. Once you notice them behaving in a favourable way, acknowledge it with words of appreciation – “Thanks for putting the garbage away!” “That was very kind of you to share your toys!” This encourages them to continue this favourable behaviour while making them aware of what behaviour is considered positive.
The opposite is true of bad behaviour. When you see your child behaving badly, acknowledge what they are doing and give them a reason for why it is bad behaviour. Try your best to keep calm while doing so to ensure they understand it is their behaviour you are trying to correct.
Acting fast and in the moment allows your child to stay in the moment and be aware of what they are doing, good or otherwise. Too often when parents get busy and try to go back and talk about what happened, kids have a hard time remembering what happened to understand what they did.
Being sure to stay in the moment also helps children understand what good behaviour is from what isn’t as they are doing it. This repetition helps with memory building as well. When they are constantly shown with words and actions that their good behaviour is welcomed, they will continue to do so.
The same is true of bad behaviour. Hopefully with repeated reminders of what is not accepted and the reasons why, they will do those actions less and less.
Acting fast helps with reinforcing positive behaviour and encourages emotional bonds with your kids. As parents, you are their first teachers in life! Be the best examples for them!
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