Positive reinforcement and discipline
- Look hard for positive behaviour. Some children appear to always behave badly because they’ve learnt that bad behaviour is a good way to get attention. In the seemingly rare moments when they’re not misbehaving, parents are too tired out to say anything or may be afraid to speak up in case it disrupts the peace and quiet. But it's especially important to pay attention to the positive (or the merely non-negative) things your child does.
- Try to see the situation from your child's point of view. It's much easier to know how to go about improving behaviour if you understand why it exists in the first place. Sometimes, when bad behaviour persists, even in the face of Time Out and other punishments, it’s because there’s a compelling reason behind it, such as fear, anger or jealousy. In these cases, punishments can help to reduce the behaviour, but any real progress in changing behaviour patterns depends on your ability to help your child to get through the issue.
- Get help sooner rather than later. If your child's negative behaviour continues despite your best efforts, don't let too much time go by without finding a professional who can support your effort in dealing with a difficult behavioural challenge.
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