6 Simple Ways to Encourage Positive Behavior in Children

Chelsea Day

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As parents, we all want our children to grow up healthy and happy. The best way to raise children is through nurturing and positive parenting. And while there are many ways to be a better parent, it all starts by understanding how your actions impact your children on a daily basis. There are so many ways to encourage positive behavior that it can be hard to know where and how to start.

The role of parents is to raise children, not to have children. In most cases, the best way to raise happy, successful and happy children is through a positive parenting approach — an approach that teaches them how to be happy in life. Positive parenting is a term that is thrown around a lot, but what does it mean? It's about taking the time to praise your children for their efforts and accomplishments, even when they are doing something simple.

It's important to keep in mind that being a young child isn't easy! Everyone is bigger, taller, has more experiences in life...you name it. And some days, in the eyes of a child, the world can be a hard place to manage. When those days happen, be there to support them and encourage positive behavior.

What does raising a positive child look like? Only you know your child best, but there are some general guidelines that will help you raise him/her more successfully. After all, the way you treat your child increases or decreases the likelihood that he or she will grow into an adult who behaves positively and respectfully towards others.Bottom of Form

Here are the tips from my own parenting journey that have helped consistently encourage positive behavior in my kids.

Talk to them in a way that they can relate to.

If you're wanting to have a positive reaction to your words, you need to speak to your children in a way that they can relate. Watch the words that you use and be careful with your tone. Children are very aware of times that they "think" that they are in trouble, but they also need to understand that those times are far and few in between the times that they're being praised or simply addressed as a human with valid thoughts and needs.

When you're talking to your preschooler, get down and speak to them eye to eye. That way, they'll view you as an equal and appreciate that they don't have to stare up at the sky to see your face. There's something calming talking to another person's face to face in a respectful and confident manner.

Compliment your child when they've done something positive

Parents tend to get into a habit of only correcting a child when they've made a mistake. Change that! Instead, compliment your little one when they've done something good as well. Tell them that they've done well when they do it, so that way they know when they're using positive behavior!

Recognize difficulty with frank honesty

As much as we want to raise positive kids, we also need to admit that things aren’t always going to come up roses. Nurture your child through the rough days with love and compassion, showing them that the best bridge to the next place is kindness. A lot of parents tend to delegate the emotional work to either the mother or the father, but it’s critical that all people who are actively-involved in raising the child show a healthy emotional stability throughout both good and bad times. Positive parenting doesn’t always mean you need to be positive, but rather that you need to positively support their development with unconditional love and understanding.

Promote independence

A lot of parents have a tendency to hover – which is totally natural! Afterall, you’re dealing with your precious children. That said, kids tend to express themselves best when they feel like it’s on their terms. Give them some space and freedom, and they’ll return the favor with open communication and positive behavior.

Follow your gut – and encourage them to follow theirs

Parents today are being bombarded with all sorts of parenting advice, from the latest fads in baby gear, to how much screen time your kids should have.

The parenting industry is a multi-billion dollar business, but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming one. If you're a parent, chances are you've been overwhelmed by the amount of information available. We've all been there. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that only you can make the right decisions for your family. By the same reasoning, it’s important to teach your kids that they are responsible for making the right decisions for themselves. Respecting and even encouraging their autonomy is the best way to encourage them to behave in a positive manner.

Teaching and leading a child with positive parenting methods is a sure-fire way to develop a healthy control over their emotions. This leads to a healthy self-awareness that can guide them throughout their entire lives.

Expect clear communication

Ask your kids to express their thoughts, wants and needs. Be clear in your communications with them, going as far as setting specific times to chat with them. I touch base with my kids in the morning about our plan for the day, followed by a wrap-up over the dinner table to rehash how things have gone. Some families have set days for family meetings, and some even have dedicated thought boxes or journals that mom and dad pass back-and-forth between the kids.

At the end of the day, we all want our kids to be stable and healthy, able to approach daily life with a positive attitude and a mindset that can push past inevitable difficulties. Positive parenting is an incredible way to raise your children knowing that they are accepted for who they are, and capable of doing great things in the world. Children who grow up with a healthy self-confidence are more likely to approach the world with grace and flexibility, imparting their self-acceptance to others around them and sparking a great chain of positive progress.

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Helping parents live simple and satisfying lives. Our homeschooling family loves to learn, and in our spare time (hah!) we RV travel and flip houses.

Boise, ID
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