A friend of mine came up with a way to show his daughter how “bad” she looked when she misbehaved. “I did a video of her having a tantrum so she could see herself being awful—but it didn’t work.”
I offered him another alternative. “So, do the video when she’s acting great. Show her what you like.” Kids do want to please, but it takes plenty of repetition for them to learn what they are supposed to be doing. To get the behaviors you want to see in your children, reinforce the actions you want by praising the “good times” over and over. Search for happy deeds and go dramatic when your child gets it right.
You want your child to put away books in the bedroom. She balks. So, ignore the defiance and help her put up the books. If she won’t pick up a single one, continue. Do a cheerful demo to show how neat it looks when the work is finished. Then say, “This is what I would love to see, and it will be easier for you to find what you want.”
Drive home the theme that you are on the same team. Nobody loves you better. Sometimes kids don’t realize this is true until they get to college, but there are many ways to hand them the light-bulb moment sooner.
What are some of your “finds” when it comes to eliciting good behavior, no-muss, no-fuss?