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Minnesota Childrens Museum Blog

Did you ever stop to think about how much time you spend telling your child what NOT to do?

It's easy to get caught up in all the things your children are doing wrong and forget about what they are doing right. Giving specific, positive attention to the behavior you want to see will teach your children what you do want them to do and will increase the likelihood of children repeating a positive behavior.

Here's how "catching your child being good" works:

You are enjoying an unusually calm shopping expedition with your child. Before your four-year-old has a chance to start climbing out of the cart or demanding a candy bar, you look at him and say, "Wow, Joey! It makes me so happy when you help me get the shopping done so quickly."

When dealing with challenging behavior, you may feel that your relationship with your children is strained. But taking the time to increase positive interactions with children can actually decrease those challenging behaviors.

Here are just a few ways to build positive relationships with your child:

  • When playing, follow your child's lead.
  • Really listen to your child when he or she is talking.
  • Don't be afraid to be silly or get dirty.
  • Have fun!  

Esther Schak
Parent Educator, Saint Paul ECFE


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