Getting children to behave is no easy task. Trying to be rational with a child is usually about as effective as arguing with a brick wall. The best way to keep children on their best behavior is not through punishment or discipline, but through making them want to behave well. Children will fight tooth and nail to avoid doing things they don’t want to do. If you can motivate your kids to behave you’ll have no problems at all, but how can you accomplish this seemingly impossible feat?
- Stay Positive
Children pick up on the subtle cues of emotion and energy that you send out with every action and word. Negativity is most often met with more negativity, which makes it extremely difficult to motivate children to behave when you’re losing your cool. It’s important to stay positive if you want to keep your children on their best behavior. Rather than admonishing a child with negative commands, motivate him with positive suggestions. This helps children enjoy behaving well, rather than feel like they’re being restricted.
- Make Time for Play
There are incredibly vast amounts of energy stored in children’s little bodies. They don’t like sitting still, and they are easily bored. Of course, there are many times when sitting still is necessary, and spending time on tedious tasks like homework is unavoidable. To help your children keep behaving well when they need to be calm, make time for them to play. Every child needs time to burn off energy in order to calm down later. When your children have time for play in their days, they’ll be more apt to quiet down and behave when it’s time to get settled.
- Reward Good Behavior
Good behavior should always be rewarded. While it might not be a great idea to treat your children like pets and offer them treats for a job well done, praising their merits is essential. You could consider rewarding their good behavior with extra privileges or even just a few sincere words of appreciation. Children need approval from the adults in their lives, and when they regularly meet with rewards and praise for their good behavior, they’ll become habitually well behaved in the future.
- Set an Example
Parents, teachers and older siblings are all important role models for children. In their early years, children are learning the character traits that will stay with them into adulthood. Set a positive example for them to follow. Practice good behavior in your own life, especially when the kids are around. If you don’t want them using swear words, avoid swearing yourself. If you want your children to stay calm and courteous when you go out for dinner, do so yourself. Be a positive example for your children to follow, and you’ll motivate them to behave well at all times.
- Let Them Play the Grown Up
The old quotes and sayings may be cliché, but children grow up faster than you’ll ever imagine. In their eyes, however, they’re stuck in childhood for an eternity. Children constantly try to prove their maturity to the adults in their lives, so let them play the grown up. Remind them that adults behave themselves, and bad behavior is only for little kids. This is a great way to motivate your children to behave as they grow into fine young adults.