Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Top 5 Strategies for Encouraging Kids Good Behavior

Positive attention for good behavior is essential to limiting bad behavior.  Below are 5 ways to successfully promote your kids' good behavior:

  1. Make a list of the many good behaviors your child exhibits.
  2. Rank from most to least how frequently each of those good behaviors is seen.  Behaviors seen less frequently will require more attention than the ones seen more frequently.
  3. Use a 5:1 ratio for delivery of your attention: for every bad behavior that gets your negative attention, find at least five good behaviors and give your positive attention to them.  
  4. Verbal attention in the form of praise or acknowledgment is beneficial, but for young children particularly, physical affection is best.  A hug or an affectionate touch with a comment or two is very powerful in promoting good behavior.
  5. Catch them being good and let them know they got caught.  Not only will your kids' behaviors improve but so will your relationship with them.

"Parenting is like caring for a lawn.  Behaviors that are not well established require more water and fertilizer than those that have been around for awhile," says Patrick Friman, Director of The Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health.  "But we still need to remember that even those that have been around still require some water just as a long-standing garden requires care."