Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flavour of the Day with Noora

Rewarding the Positive

I am attending a "Behaviour Management Workshop" concerning children. In it, one MAJOR question that has always troubled me has been answered: "should I praise/reward my son for behaviour he should be doing in the first place?" For example, do I praise him for cleaning up the mess he made? Do I reward my son for not hitting his sister? Do I thank him for listing to my instructions and going to bed on time?

I always worried that if I reward or praise something that should be done in the first place, my child will grow up thinking that he was doing something extra, something that is not necessary for him to do, but he did it anyways. Turns out I was completely wrong. One of the most important things you can do for your child is to reward or praise the desired behaviour until it becomes a habit.

Our instructor says it takes 21 days for a behaviour to become a habit, and that is a LONG time when you are looking from each end of the line (behaviour you want or behaviour you don't want). Therefore, I am saying this from experience, reward, reward, reward, with something as simple as a praise or sticker, as fun as going out for ice cream, and as relaxing as reading an extra bedtime story. Hopefully, it will get you where you want to be, somewhat sane in mama-land :)

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