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What Parents Can Do To Help Children Develop Positive Behaviors and Learn Cooperation

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  1. Teach cooperation by being cooperative and considerate to your child and other people.
  2. Teach sharing as a social skill, say please and thank you.
  3. Model or demonstrate the exact behavior you want the child to do. Practice that action or behavior with your child; actually "rehearse it" with her.
  4. Plan ahead of time, what you want to do when your child misbehaves. Talk to another family member so you can follow the same procedure each time.
  5. Share that plan with your child; explain the steps of the plan.
  6. Listen and take turns listening and talking; let your child talk and you listen.
  7. Offer encouragement; you don't always want to offer empty praise.
  8. "Catch" your child doing the right thing. Pay attention to "good" behavior and ignore minor "bad" behavior.
  9. Get help handling children who are out of control, if you can; if not, stay calm yourself, talk to yourself, talk yourself out of being angry or resentful.
  10. Write a list with your child of rewards, that are meaningful and valuable to him, and use them as positive privileges he or she can learn with good behavior.
  11. Don't threaten, nag, criticize; give compliments, before you talk about situations that are not positive.
  12. Don't yell, hit, or use force!! When you do, you are teaching your child to do these same actions.
  13. Remember "punishment" should be defined as a rule in your house that says: "you do not get what you want when you don't cooperate, or misbehave. There will be consequences and you will lose privileges when you do not behave.
  14. Use the technique of talking in a conversational tone of voice, don't lecture or yell, have "conversations;" talk talk talk.
  15. Have daily (even in the car) family meetings, so your child can tell you what he wants to share, and you can share your concerns, issues and comments or their actions.
Ask Dr. Susan