Motivating Your Child
Some tips for success
Posted Mar 19, 2013
Focus on One Behavior at a Time
An important key to success is to select one, specific behavior to focus on at a time. Trying to change too many things at once will overwhelm you and your child and dilute both your efforts. For example, if you're going to work on encouraging your child to read more, don't add on a lot of household chores at the same time.
It can be difficult not to lapse into criticism when we see our children doing something we know they shouldn't be doing. However, criticism usually doesn't work and can backfire in that it can erode self-confidence. Sometimes you might not even realize you're being critical.
Consider the difference in these approaches:
Direction: Pick up your books.
Criticism: Why do you always throw your books down on the floor when you come in the door?
Positive comment: Thank you for putting your books on the table.
If you must correct your child for a negative behavior, try to praise him several more times for doing something right before he has the chance to misbehave again. This will require you to tune into positive things going on in the home and in your relationship with your child. One way to do this is to keep a good behavior diary. In a spiral notebook, jot down anything positive you notice about your child. Tell her, "This one’s for the book."
Reward Small Steps Toward Success
Behavior doesn't change overnight, so remember to be patient. You need to focus on the steps made in the right direction. Especially in the beginning of any behavior change program, rewards need to be given often. If the child has to wait a week for any reinforcement, the plan is bound to fail. Consider giving small, immediate rewards as well as points for a longer – term reward.
When a new behavior is being developed make it easy to earn a reward each day. Later you can phase out daily rewards. And naturally, the eventual goal is for the new behavior to be reinforcing, and it of itself.
Give Yourself Credit
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Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to.
–Ask, by The Smiths