Last time I talked about an effective way to stop undesirable behavior in your child. In my opinion, this part of parenting is a little bit easier than the second part, which is motivating your child in desirable behaviors. How do you get your child to pick up after themselves? Do their homework? Getting ready for bed? These are all behaviors that we need our children to perform in order to grow into responsible, hard-working adults.
So here are just a few examples of what I use for my son or am planning on using:
1. Try to allow natural consequences to be a learning experience for not performing a behavior. (Your child does not get his homework done when you ask, he doesn’t have time to play outside with his friends later on.)
2. Set time limits for picking up toys. (Set the timer for an appropriate time for picking up the amount of toys and those that are not picked up by the end of the time limit are taken away for the day, week or whatever amount of time you think is appropriate for the age of your child.)
3. Use a chore checklist or chore chart. When your child completes all or most of the required chores they receive a reward. Rewards can be tv/video game time, allowance, or anything that may motivate your child.
4. Be a role model. (This is probably the most important. Keep your own stuff tidied up if you expect that of your kids. Be on time to events and meetings in your life.) Your kids will learn from your example.
I am sure a lot of you are very experienced in this area of discipline and know much more about it than I do. But for those of you who are new to parenting or find yourself struggling with your children, I hope you find these examples useful.
For further information on discipline, I would like to recommend three books I have found very useful:
1-2-3 Magic, Thomas W. Phelan
Boundaries with Kids, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend
The Discipline Book, Martha and William Sears