Top 5 Ideas for Raising Well Behaved Children
by Michael Grose
Children’s behaviour is impossible to ignore … particularly if it’s poor behaviour. Parents generally feel badly when their children behave poorly and family-life can be hard to enjoy when children continually act up or act out.
Generally, it’s the job of parents to make children social and safe. That means they need to teach children to behave well (most of the time) around others. Learning to behave well takes time for some children to learn, so you have to work harder with some children than others.
Effective parents understand that they need to be the ‘bad guy’ at times, and they have a range of strategies at their disposal to teach children to behave well.
Here are five practical ways to teach your children to behave well:
1. Teach good manners: manners are respect in action. They guide children into appropriate responses in social situations.
2. Catch children doing the right thing: most children want to please their parents, to make sure your face lights up and your voice gets excited when they’ve behaved well. Parental recognition is a high driver for most children!
3. Be a good role model: children learn what they live! Most social learning occurs through modelling, so make sure your children hear you speak and act in appropriate ways when you interact with them and others.
4. Practise social behaviours at home: want children to behave well in a restaurant? Then you need to practise social eating habits around the kitchen table. The same principle applies to a range of other social behaviours. Behaviour rehearsal, play acting or role playing have always been great ways of training children to behave well.
5. Use consequences when children behave poorly: the link between children’s rights and their social responsibilities is reinforced when parents put (or display a willingness to put) a respectful, reasonable and related consequence into action. Effective discipline techniques in modern schools revolve around consequential learning!