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Teaching Children New Behaviors

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 @ 02:07 PM Karen Hood

Tell your child what you want your child to do.

When you are at the store and you tell your child to “stop running,” you
are telling your child what not to do. That will not help your child
change his or her behavior. Children need to hear what you want them to
do – not what to stop doing.

You probably want your child to walk quietly and help you shop. Give
your child a positive direction because a negative direction can be
confusing. A negative direction assumes that your child knows what you
want. Don’t assume anything with children. Give them positive
instructions and give them the instructions each time they are doing to
the store until it becomes a habit.

Teach your child the behaviors that you want them to use. If you want
your child to play quietly in the house, take the time to teach your
child how to do that. Show your child what it looks like when he/she is
playing quietly. Tell your child how you feel when you hear yelling in
the house.

Perhaps your children are constantly bickering and fighting with one
another. Take some time to teach them how you want them to interact.
Show them how to sit on the floor together and not poke each other. Show
them how to walk by each other and not make a face. Have your child
practice using that behavior.

If your child has difficulty doing homework, have him/her practice the
appropriate behaviors by working quietly on a fun project for a specific
amount of time. (Remember, first you have to teach the behavior that you
want to see). Let your child practice until he/she understands how long
10-15 minute is. Help your child see how much he can get done in ten

If your child has difficulty sitting at a table and eating with the
family, have an afternoon snack time where your child can practice eating

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