Training for Good Thinking

Parenting Thoughts

Children learn by testing out ways to get their needs met. Some of the things children will test:
  • Will sneaky behavior get me the cookie I want?
  • Can I force my friend to give me his toy to play with?
  • If I scream and cry will I get to stay at the playground longer?
What can parents do when children are trying these not-so-good ways of getting what they want?
  • Correct and teach without making the child feel like a failure or a bad person.
  • Teach the good behavior you expect by including consequences for not-so-good behavior and make sure you stick to those consequences.
  • Stay calm and under control by remembering that these not-so-good behaviors are teaching moments that can lead to good behavior. Children can learn what doesn’t work and that clever, convincing, confident thinking on their part can actually get them what they need.
With steady, firm, and encouraging responses to misbehavior, caring adults can show children that:
  • Sneakiness won’t work, but cleverness often will.
  • Bullying can get you into a lot of trouble, but with words you might be able to convince others to give you what you need.
  • Making demands with temper tantrums won’t be listened to, but you might be heard by asking with words and letting others know what you think and feel.
Inspired by BETTY BUNNY LOVES CHOCOLATE CAKE by Michael B. Kaplan
For more information about how children develop good characteristics:
Sneaky or Clever, Which Is It?
Becoming, Clever, Innovative, Inventive, and Smart 

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