I’ve spent the last 3 days at a medical conference with hundreds of pediatricians from all over getting educated on the latest scientific evidence from experts in all different fields. One of the experts yesterday had a 2-hour slot on parenting. I cherry-picked 3 of the parenting strategies to share today. I chose them because they have high-yield results, are easy to implement, and likely only require a little tweaking from what you are probably already doing. So here they are:
- Label praise. Whenever your child is doing something that is good, call it out specifically by name. For example, “Your manners are good” or “well done being __quiet, kind, helpful, etc.__,” rather than saying, “good job.” The specific labeled praise improves the child’s confidence, gives him a sense of accomplishment and worth, and increases the likelihood that the child will repeat the desired behavior.
- Compliment child B within ear shot of child A (assuming that you are attempting to get a desired behavior out of child A). Young children want your attention. If Child A sees that Child B is getting your attention by ___putting away the toys quietly___, child A will be more inclined to jump in and engage in the same activity.
- Compliment behavior that is acceptable before it goes awry. For example, if your child has a tendency to run away from you in a parking lot, scream when you brush her hair, or a million other high-risk naughty behaviors, compliment the child before the child does the expected undesirable behavior. “Johnny, thank you for walking so nice to mommy in the parking lot” or ”Suzie, you’re standing so nice and calm while mommy is brushing your hair.” The child is then more likely to continue the desired behavior.
Good luck! You can do this.