The more we learn scientifically about parenting, the more we discover that punishment is not an effective way to correct children. It can even do a lot of harm to a growing child, and could even make undesirable behavior worse! In other words, it is a counterproductive practice that needs to be significantly reduced between parenting styles.
But it can be difficult to understand or learn to correct a child when punishment is off the table, especially if you were brought up with the punishment yourself. How can you prevent a child from acting negatively while only projecting positive things? Here are three positive ways to curb misbehavior in children without punishment.
1. Change your reaction to your children’s bad behavior
Children rarely misbehave on purpose or maliciously. They may do it because they don’t understand that what they are doing is wrong, or because they have learned that doing so is getting the attention they need, or because they are simply trying something.
So when they react with punishment to these innocent or non-malicious sources of misconduct, children learn that they can be punished for just about anything, even things that they don’t think are wrong. Create an environment of fear. That’s why changing your reaction to misbehavior first is an essential step in curbing misbehavior in a positive way. Here’s how to get started:
Don’t use negative reinforcement
It’s easy to impulsively provide negative reinforcement as a teaching method when your children misbehave. But investigate shows that negative reinforcement doesn’t work at all. Instead of helping a child improve his behavior, he is likely to do almost nothing or even make the behavior worse.
Ignore minor acts of misbehavior in children
When children misbehave because they want attention, they don’t care if the attention they receive is negative or positive. Whenever they attract attention, they will consider the action they took to make it worth repeating. Small acts of rebellion that are harmless – like whining, making a fuss, or playing with things that they shouldn’t – are things you can safely ignore. Walk away and wait for your child to ask politely for attention before giving any, reinforcing that he cannot act to get what he wants!
· Do not scream
Sometimes on impulse you might want shout out to a child who is misbehaving. This will not only scare many children, but it will also be a way to pay attention to a child who may be misbehaving on purpose. Explosive reactions are scary, but they are also a sign that something is happening, and none of them are something you want a child to associate with your screaming. Instead, focus on teaching.
For example, if your child throws a toy on the ground after he’s finished, don’t yell, “Stop throwing your toys everywhere! You make a mess! ”. Instead, teach them how to handle the toy. “Look, when you’re done with your toy, you can pick it up and put it back in the toy basket.” Then let them demonstrate and congratulate them for trying. When they continue with the positive behavior, praise them again for their learning.
Use natural consequences
Many of life’s actions have natural consequences, and these can teach children quite well! Rather than punishing your children, allow natural consequences to be your teacher, with your presence around to explain and cement it in a teaching moment. For example, if a child leaves their toys outside even though they have been told not to, their toys can get dirty.
You will then point it out to your child and help him make the connection between his actions and the natural consequence, including the logical consequence that your child has to clean the toys now before they can be used again. This will help show your child the natural result of their actions.
2. Model the behavior you want to see
Children learn by copying the figures of their parents or guardians. They like to imitate the behavior they witness. So if you want to curb kids’ misbehavior, be sure to avoid doing it yourself! Investigate has shown that children learn well through observation in their early years of education, so letting them see the positive behavior you want them to do helps by:
- Encourage them to imitate you and “be like you,” especially at a younger age.
- Showing them as they grow that you really mean what you say and that you practice what you preach.
- Give children a set of example behaviors that they can try to include in their daily life, especially in a situation where they are not sure what to do.
- Reduce the time you have to spend teaching them directly, which gives you more time to guide them through the behaviors they are learning naturally.
How to model better behavior
You will need to be a good role model to curb bad behavior, and that can be difficult. As a parent, you will find that you have to learn to control your natural human impulses and actions. It is more complicated than it seems to always behave well! So in that sense, you also need to model ways to correct your behaviors when you perform harmful actions. You can do this as follows:
- Be open about his flaws and show your child that the flaws are human and normal, and then show him how you work to improve yourself from these flaws so that he can be a better person.
- Apologize when you do something wrong, either to the people around you or to your children; Make it clear that you respect your child and will apologize if you hurt him as much as they should apologize to you if you hurt him.
- Show how you forgive others and how you are forgiven so that your child knows that he can also receive forgiveness if he apologizes well.
- Demonstrate the ways you compensate for wrongdoing and help people you have hurt feel better.
3. Praise good behavior
It seems like a no-brainer to praise kids when they behave positively, but not many parents do it right! This lapse occurs because it is easy not to accidentally notice when a child is behaving well: he is calm, out of his hair and does not need correction. But if you don’t pay attention to them while displaying positive behavior, they will learn that negative behavior is the only way to get you!
In addition to that, studies show that the use of good praise has a positive effect on a child’s behavior by enhancing their growth and development, giving them the motivation to learn, and providing them a reason to correct themselves. So how can you use praise correctly? Here are some tips:
Do your best to notice good behavior, not just bad behavior in your children
As mentioned above, it is easy to overlook good behavior because it is what you expect and want. Bad behavior stands out, and good little acts don’t, after all. This is why you should try even harder to pay attention to the good things! Keep an eye on your child and praise him for his positive actions. For example, you might say, “You shared well with your sister. Good job! “Or” You are being very responsible by putting your toys away after you finish with them. “
Don’t be stingy with praise
While you shouldn’t exaggerate the accolade, you shouldn’t treat it as a hard-earned award either. Praise your child often and in small ways every time you observe positive behavior, especially if that behavior is new. This kind word gives your child a clear indication of the desired behavior and establishes a healthy and stimulating relationship in your bond.
Never use praise sarcastically
To congratulate it is supposed to be something exclusively good. Never something used for shame. Don’t say, “Oh, look who finally started doing the dishes. It only took you several hours! “For example. This offense will only leave a bitter taste and teach the child that he will not receive genuine praise no matter what he does. Instead, give sincere compliments, such as“ Glad to see that you are doing the dishes as I asked. Good job!” Then, if appropriate, you can offer a correction or set a better expectation, such as “I know dishes are not fun! I don’t like doing them either, but the sooner they’re done, we can relax. So in the future, I’d like you to wash the dishes within an hour of meals, okay? “
Use praise instead of material rewards
There is nothing wrong with giving your child a material reward from time to time, but using it as the primary reward method can lead to a reliance on extrinsic motivation. You want your child to feel good about good behavior, not just good behavior because he will get something he wants in return. Try to use praise much more than material rewards, and instead of using material items as rewards, give them as gifts.
Remind your child that you believe in his goodness
Children misbehave from time to time, and when that happens, you can remind them of the good and positive behavior that you know they are capable of. This reminder is a positive way to use praise to correct misbehavior. For example, you could say, “I know you are a nice person and it was not very nice of you to refuse to share with your sister. Can you think of something you can do with your sister now to show your kindness? ”. The goal is to direct your child toward positive self-thinking and actions, so that they feel encouraged to behave well.
Keep in mind that your compliment should be genuine when you give it and you shouldn’t overdo it. Exaggerated praise can contribute to low self-esteem and decreased positive thinking in people of all ages, according to studies. So be sure to give praise fairly and in moderation – too much of anything is bad, after all!
Final thoughts on some positive ways to curb misbehavior in children without punishment
Punishment is a method that doesn’t work as well as we used to think when it comes to curbing misbehavior in children. Instead, learning to use positive methods, such as changing your reaction to misbehavior, modeling desired behavior, and praising good behavior, can work much better for raising a well-behaved child.