With encouragement, you can teach your child the behaviors you want to see.
When you want specific behaviors from your preschooler, the best way to encourage these desired behaviors is to give them positive reinforcement whenever you see them. Drive this message home for your little one with a discipline chart. By highlighting desired behaviors, you teach your child which behaviors you want. The chart doesn’t need to be elaborate. Don't worry -- no big-ticket toys as prizes needed. In fact, simple stickers with one-on-one time with you for a prize will probably do the trick.
1Determine the behaviors you want to see from your preschooler. For best results, keep your behavior modification efforts simple so you don’t overwhelm and discourage your little one. Work on a few behaviors at a time and as soon as she learns them, move on to something else. Some behaviors you might encourage include making her bed in the morning, saying “please” and “thank you,” sharing toys or keeping her bedroom clean.
2Create spaces for writing the behaviors along the top of the sheet of paper and the days of the week along the left side, to create a grid using a ruler and pencil. Make the grid spaces big enough so you can write in them and place stickers in them.
3Trace over the pencil lines with the markers to make your chart bold and colorful. Use your preschooler’s favorite colors so the chart appeals to him.
4Write the behaviors you want to encourage in the top spaces of the chart. You might write, “Making Bed,” “Saying Please and Thank you,” “Sharing Toys” and “Bedroom Cleaning.” Write the days of the week in the spaces going down the left side of the chart, starting with the first day of the week.
5Show your child the chart and hype it up to get her excited about it. Tell her the behaviors you’ve included in the chart and show her where you’ll place stickers when she does these things. You might say, “Whenever you make your bed in the morning without being reminded, we’ll put a sticker right here. When you share your toys, we’ll place a sticker in this space.”
6Explain to your child that after earning a certain amount of stickers, you’ll give him a special treat. The treat could be many different things -- a special outing or excursion, an activity or a little toy for a prize.
7Hang the chart in a spot where everyone will see it often, such as on the refrigerator or on your little one’s bedroom door. Talk about the behaviors and award stickers whenever your child demonstrates those behaviors to keep her attention focused on the chart every day. Follow through with the awards you promise after your child earns them.
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