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Children behave better when...

Before, and into motherhood, I had my fair share of working with children in various settings. I have seen it all, with ages from birth to 18 years old, and I have found that behavior managment was always my strong point. In my years working with kids and raising my own, I have found that children behave better when...

✨ There are clear and repeated expectations: Post your safety rules and expectations, go over them daily, and/or have visual cues. Don't exect that because you told them once or twice, that it stuck. Expectations should be revisited consistently.

✨ There are positive reinforcements: Instead of always having consequences for "unwanted behaviors", provide more rewards for when they are getting the job done! Use this technique when speaking, also. Say things such as, "When you get your shoes on, we can go to the playground. " vs. " You're not going on the playground if you don't get your shoes on."

✨ We speak positively to them: Remember to tell your kids when you LIKE what you see! Too often we get caught up in telling children they aren't following the rules, and soon we can sound like we are nagging them! Oh, I hate that word..nagging. No one likes to do it, either! Nor hear it! When you see your child doing their chores without being asked, tell them you appreciate it! When you catch your toddler giving up the swing for another child, simply tell them, "I like when you share!" PSSSTTT... Little secret of mine... when other kiddos hear others' have their good behavior noted, they're more likely to also exhibit this positive behavior. I especially notice this in group settings. For example, if a group of kids are running around as I'm trying to get them situated, I'll seek the one child sitting, ready to listen to my book, and I'll point out how "I like how Johnny is sitting, ready for storytime!" Without fail, the others will slowly gather on by!

✨Intructions are kept proactive instead of corrective: Children will respond better when instructions remind them of the rules. For example, instead of saying "STOP RUNNING!", try "USE WALKING FEET!" Or "Hands are for helping not for hurting" instead of "Stop hitting!"

✨ They are entertained: provide age appropriate activities that are hands on and engaging! When children are exercising their brains and imaginations, they are less likely to "act out". Again, make sure activities are AGE & DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE. If a child is bord or likewise, given something that is too difficult, they will get distracted which could leave to what we see as "naughty behaviors". But usually these naughty behaviors are a lack of one of these listed helpful tips!

✨ There is rhythm and/routine to their day: children behave better when they know what to expect. Just make sure that the routine is age appropriate, flexible, and fits the needs of the child, children, or family.

✨ There are fun and simple transitions between activities: Children can act up when there is empty space between activities. Transitions can fill this space plus give children cues of what is coming next. For example, you may sing a specific song that prompts your child to go brush their teeth after meals, or you may play a short color ID game inbetween greeting time and going to the table for art! See our featured blog on transitions for more ideas!

For more posts like this one, check other blog posts! 🙏💜💮

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