7 Ways to Promote Kids’ Good Behavior

7 Ways to Promote Kids’ Good Behavior

These small changes can help foster peace, productivity, and patience at home.

By Lorraine Allen

As much as we’d love our kids to behave perfectly every second of every day, parents know that’s just not a reasonable expectation. But we can reduce problem behaviors, and encourage positive ones, by setting the stage for cooperation and respect. Here are seven ways you can get kids fired up about being a team player in your family, trying new things, and behaving better, starting right now:

1. Get them their own calendar to keep track of chores, activities, and goals. Be consistent in checking on their progress and acknowledging positive efforts. You can integrate a reward system, too, if you like.

2. Give kids a weekly or monthly three-tiered allowance, based on their attitude and team spirit. If they simply don’t display negative or difficult behavior, they get their base “pay,” for example (which could be TV time, treats, or stickers instead of money, if you prefer, but make clear ahead of time what your exact “currency” will be.) If they have a positive, helpful can-do attitude, they’ll get rewarded by a higher, second-tier payout. And if they go above and beyond what is expected, say by helping others selflessly and without even being asked by a parent, or work really hard at something independently, they’ll get an even better payout.

3. Use positive reinforcement, meaning don’t focus on what kids are doing wrong. Instead, when they misbehave, redirect them with some positive behavior opportunity, and then notice and praise them for doing that right. For example, instead of repeating daily at mealtime things like “don’t wiggle / stop throwing food / no singing at the table,” try giving directions they can do, such as: “sit still / chew with your mouth closed / food is for eating, if you do a good job, we can throw balls later,” etc.

More from P&G everyday: 10 Genius Ways Moms ‘Trick’ Their Kids Into Behaving Better

4. Notice and praise initiative. Noticing things that kids do well, especially things that we don’t tell them to do but that they take their own initiative on, helps them develop self-esteem and encourages them to keep building on that focus and those skills. Whenever kids master something, they gain greater self-confidence and independence, and therefore, happiness. Better behavior follows as a natural part of this.


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5. Whether it’s taking on a new chore, trying a new activity, or taking a new class, encourage your kids to branch out in some new way and cheer them on, so they don’t stop. New experiences are always enriching, and if you help your kids seek these out, and try them, they will likely grow up well-rounded, with broader horizons.

6. Start a new, healthy habit as a family, whether it’s eating more veggies, cooking more meals together, cutting out some sweets or sodas, or taking daily walks after dinner together around the block. It doesn’t have to be monumental at all, but it should be something you can realistically all do, and stick to, long term. Designate your kid as the family “coach” for this fitness effort, and praise her for getting your family “team” moving towards better health. (If you have multiple kids, choose multiple, small efforts and each can be responsible for one of them.)

7. Give your kids one common area of the house, whether it’s three bookshelves or one half of a room (not including their bedrooms), that they are in charge of keeping tidy. This helps them think outside of their own small space and helps teach them responsibility in a way that’s visible to everyone, all the time. Be sure to do daily or weekly “inspections” of the area, and reward their efforts.

How do you encourage your kids to make positive changes?

Lorraine Allen is a writer and mom to one spunky first-grader and one squirrel-obsessed dog. You can follow their delicious, allergy-friendly cooking adventures at @FeedingLina.

Image ©iStock.com/Jodi Jacobson

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We made turkies out of paper rolls. I was thinking for grandkids. Of a castle. An pirates msfe out of the paper twoel and toilet. Paper rolls dont quite have it figured out yet but looking forward. To figureing out.

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