It is important to make sure that children feel secure, loved and valued, and to notice when they are behaving well. The trick to this is to find strategies that work well for you and your child. Here are some ideas:
If you don't stick to the rules your child will learn that if they ignore them, you will probably give in.
Give lots of praise
Let your children know when they have done something well and when you are pleased with them. For example, give them a hug, give them a kiss and tell them how great they are. You need to do this straight away.
It helps if you and your child know the rules for particular situations before they happen. Don't make them up as you go along (e.g. if bedtime is 7pm, make sure you both stick to it).
Involve your child
Sit down with your child and talk to them about good behaviour. You might be surprised about how much you both agree on.
This can be difficult in the heat of the moment, but it does help. Be calm and clear with your commands, for example 'please switch off the TV' or 'it's bedtime'.
Be clear with your child
For example 'please put your toys away' tells children exactly what you expect them to do. Simply telling them to 'be good' does not. If your child can't understand you, they can't obey you. Keep it short and simple.
It's no good promising a wonderful reward or dreadful punishment if you are not going to see it through. It is much better to offer small rewards rather than punishments. For example, 'when you have tidied your room, you can have an ice cream'. Don't expect miracles. If your child has only partly tidied their room, praise them for having started.
The importance of your relationship
When times are difficult, it is easy to forget that you can actually have nice times together. Everybody can end up feeling angry and upset. So you need to plan to have good times together. For example, you could play a game, read or cook with them for 10 minutes every day.