Praising your Child: Managing poor behavior in youth

Parenting is difficult and is made even harder when you get repeated phone calls from school and daycare about your child misbehaving. It’s difficult when your child is perfect for everyone else except you. There are millions of parenting books out there that claim that they can help you be a better parent and help your kids behavior improve. There are a million tips and tricks that a therapist can help you with but the simplest one is often overlooked and hard to do… praising good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.  

How does praising a child help?

Praising works for kids because most poor behavior is a way to get attention that they are not receiving. Bad attention is better than no attention at all. If you think about it everyone likes to be praised for doing a good job. After all you wouldn’t work without getting a paycheck right? At first it may seem weird to praise your children for doing what you ask them to do but it will help their behavior in the long run.

Here are some examples of praising:

  • “You did a great job cleaning up your room, thank you”
  • “I really like how you are playing nicely with the other kids”
  • “ You got an A on your assignment that’s awesome”


Always remember to be specific with your praises so your kids know what they should keep doing.

What types of behaviors should be ignored?

Behaviors that should be ignored are any that you do not want your child to continue, however, only if it is not a safety issue. For instance do not ignore your child hurting others this is something that should be addressed. On the other hand, if a child is yelling at you because they do not want to do something then it is ok to walk away and ignore them.

It can be scary to see your kids struggling and scary to ask for help, but there is support out there. Family therapy can help you not only improve your child’s behavior but also your attachment with your kids. If you would like help improving your child’s behavior make an appointment today.

If you need help, please don’t hesitate to ask. Counselors and therapists are ready to be your support and guide.

 

-Evey Duran, MS, LMFTA

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