Posted on June 16th, 2009
How can parents encourage appropriate behavior, which may increase self-esteem in their children?
*Spend time with your child looking up unknown words in the dictionary, playing games, doing chores – folding towels, setting the table, making salads.
*Parents should reward positive behavior, and not focus on the negative. Thank your child for behaving in the approved manner (i.e., cleaning up their toys without being asked, washing their hands, brushing their teeth).
*A child may have a specific need and is not just misbehaving. Try to understand why your child is acting out. It may be that he or she feels sick, wants attention, or may be feeling frustrated or sad.
*A child may not have the vocabulary to express her/himself. Look at the child’s body language. Does the child seem withdrawn, or frustrated? Ask open-ended questions (questions not answered by “yes” or “no”) to get more information. Yelling and screaming at children will cause them to be fearful and non-responsive.
*Offer alternatives and choices which enable a child to select the appropriate behavior. Children will cooperate and don’t want to disappoint, if they feel they are an important part of the family. Power struggles are non-productive and create hurt feelings and frustration.