Positive Guidance Strategies

As a mother, I always want to guide my children in a positive way.  There are various ways to guide your children in a positive way.  Below are some strategies for guiding your child’s behavior in positive ways as you help them learn to manage their feelings and behavior.

Give the big rule and the little rule.  This strategies involves state one of your main rules and pairing it with the very specific behavior in which you want your child to do.

Redirect your child’s behavior.  This provides your child with an acceptable alternative to the unacceptable behavior.

Offer two acceptable choices.  Choices give your child some control over what is happening and supports their desire to be independent.  Make sure that both choices are acceptable to you.

Change the environment.  This may mean moving your child to a new location or mean moving something out of the way.

Be specific.  Rather than simply praising your child by saying, “Good Job,” be specific and explain exactly what they are doing and why it is appropriate.

Model specific language.  Help your child to speak by giving him/her the language they need.  They need you to give him/her the words and show him/her how to use them.

Say, “When…then…”  These statements explain to your child what to expect and in what sequence.

Use the “tell and show” strategy.  While telling them what they should do, you should also show them with gestures and other visual cues.

Make a reflective statement that begins with “I see…”  By letting saying exactly what you see happening will let your child know that you are paying attention to what they are doing.  Sometimes letting your child know that you see them will be enough to stop challenging behaviors.

Say how you feel and why you feel that way.  Use “I” statements.  These statements explain to your child what is happening, your feelings about it, and the reason.  This also helps your child understand that their actions affect others too.

Use your sense of humor.  Humor can be used to deflect tension, energize your child, and win his/her cooperation.

When guiding your child in a positive way, you help your child learn self-control and promote their self-esteem.

Do you have any experience using any of these strategies?  Please share!

Reference: Creative Curriculum by Diane Trister Dodge, Sherrie Rudick, Kai-Lee Berke

Ashley Myers

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