Now, please don't get me wrong. Throwing a temper tantrum anywhere is NOT acceptable in our house, but handling a temper tantrum by, well, having a temper tantrum myself, is never the way I want to address my child's behavioral problems--whether in public or private settings!
Every parent at one point or another will need to address, and hopefully correct, bad behavior. My question for you today is, what do you do about good behavior? You see, I feel that Maggie generally exhibits good behavior, because we have consistently encouraged, rewarded, and cheered her on for her good conduct. It is my belief that if you spend a large portion of your energy on making sure your child knows how important good behavior is to you, you'll spend a lot less time and energy addressing bad behavior.
We use a number of different techniques to encourage Maggie in her good behavior. The first, and my favorite, are random rewards. These are times when we reward Maggie with something tangible when she wasn't expecting it, nor asking for it. For instance, yesterday we went out to dinner as a family. Maggie not only sat in her chair and colored quietly while she waited for her meal, but she also finished all of her dinner. As we headed to the car, to Maggie's delight, I informed her that we had cookies at home and because of her good behavior, she would receive one when we got home. Well, you would have thought I'd promised her the whole bag of cookies! She talked about her cookie all the way home and smiled so big as she gobbled it down before bedtime.
We are also in the midst of potty training in our house. Maggie adores stickers, so we decided to make her a sticker chart. Every time she uses the potty, she gets to put a sticker of her choosing on her chart. I want to let her potty train at her own pace, when she's ready, so I have not been pushing her. Some days she goes in the potty, other times she doesn't. She does however, always remember that she will get that sticker after she goes, and boy does that make her happy!
fun activities for kids that are also FREE. When Maggie has had a good day, we'll take her to the park, fill up her kiddie swimming pool in the back yard, or bake a batch of cookies together. Last week we decided to paint our toenails together--it was lots of fun for both of us!
Lastly, beyond the tangible rewards we give Maggie, we also shower her with praise on a daily basis. As I notice her being sweet to her brother, cleaning up her toys, obeying promptly, etc., I make it a point to tell her with words and through hugs just how proud I am of her and how much I appreciate her good behavior. I have noticed that the more I praise her for good behavior, the more good behavior I see from her.
If you feel as though you are always correcting bad behavior in your house, I'd encourage you to make it a point to spend a whole week encouraging good behavior. As your child is rewarded for their good behavior, you'll see the bad behavior fade away!
~Janessa, aka Thrifty Nifty Mommy
Disclosure: I am entering to be the next Kid Pointz blogger. This post was compensated as my entrance to their contest. All opinions are my own.