3 tips for Correcting Behaviors
The wish of every parent is for their children to be better than they were. That they will have more opportunities. That they will be more resilient. That they will be more successful. It’s to this end that we teach specific lessons and let them learn other is the hope that they will make a positive mark on the world.
Every child, no matter how perfect, needs their behavior corrected. Whether it be for something unacceptable as throwing a full on temper-tantrum when things don’t get their way or because they interrupt their friends. Which is why the skill of Correcting Behaviors is needed in every parents arsenal.
Getting our children to change their behavior isn’t actually that hard, as long as you remember these 3 things.
Choose realistic goals
Getting your children to change is a process that takes time. Don’t forget that. The problem is that we want our children to change dramatically in a very little time. With that mentality we are only setting ourselves—and our children up for failure. Failure isn’t a good way to get your children to change because it makes them think that they can’t change. It’s better to start with small things that you know both you and your child can do. Usually that means tackling portions of the behavior you want to correct instead of trying to do the whole thing at once. For example, it takes you forever for your child to get ready for bed: to pick up the clothes in their room, to get their pajama’s on, to read a bedtime story. Instead of focusing on the whole entire bedtime routine, choose one of the steps and focus on that. Once your child an do that, then you move onto the next portion and so on until your child has changed their whole bedtime behavior.
Not sure which behavior to change? We recommend sitting down with your child and using the steps of Decision Making (SODAS Method) to make a decision together. That way you get buy-in from you children. And buy-in is a good thing.
When you’re trying to change, it’s important to see visually see your progress. It also highlights what’s not well going well and that allows you to make corrections as you go. And that makes the whole process smoother.
There are many ways to keep track of your progress. The goals is to find one that works for you. Many parents have found this chart helpful as it allows them to track when they’ve followed through.
Making changes are hard and any change should be celebrated. The fastest way to change behavior is not to focus on what they are doing wrong, but praise them for what they are doing right—no matter how small. Seems counterintuitive, but trust it. It does work. We all respond better to compliments than than to criticisms and our children are no different. In fact, they probably respond better to praise than adults because they are desperate to please us and get our approval.