The best way to eliminate an unwanted behavior is to substitute an alternative one in its place. Or in other words the positive opposite of unwanted behavior. Instead of focusing on what you do not want your child to do (“I hate when he talks back!”) consider what it is that you do want him to do. (“When it is time to clean up, I want him to simply do it.”)

One sure way to lead him to a positive habit is with praise. When he is behaving well, first act sincerely excited (“Wow!”). Next, specify exactly what you are loving (“You were mad, but you used your words instead of hitting”). Finally, add something physical (a hug or a high five). Give your child props even for small successes, like letting a younger sibling have a turn with a favorite toy. Every time you reinforce a partial success, you are moving that much closer to you ultimate goal. SeeĀ turn it into a challenge for more ways to improve development.

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Comments
  1. Rebbeca says:

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  2. […] Change Out Some Bad Habits […]

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