Creative Child

The Tattletale Elf

Plus 5 Ways to Inspire Good Behavior
by Rebecca Eanes

How to Inspire Positive Behavior

To really thwart negative behavior and inspire positive behavior from your children, you have to have their hearts. You cannot change a heart that you can’t reach. The big secret to easier parenting is that your relationship matters most, so anything that disconnects and harms the relationship is moving in the wrong direction.

If you want better behavior from your children this holiday season, here are 5 ways to bring it out in them.

1. Fall back in love.

The love we feel for our children never goes away, but children don’t always feel our love, especially when we’ve been feeling like we don’t like them very much. Negative cycles can be tough to shake out of, but it’s really important that your child feels unconditionally loved, accepted, and valued by you. Re-frame any negative perceptions you’ve formed. For example, “stubborn” could be re-framed into “perseverant.” There’s always a positive side if you look hard enough. The way we feel about our children and their intentions affects the way we treat them.

2. Get your relationship right.

If your relationship has been strained and you’re feeling disconnected, your child is probably disconnected too. Re-connect through playing, being present without distractions, active listening, and finding ways to laugh together every day.

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3. Be a team.

If you have an “us versus them” mentality, they’ll adopt it, too. This sets you up for years of power struggles. Let your child know you’re on her side. Getting out of the dictator or manager mindset and into a mentor or leader mindset will help you come alongside your children as the example and coach that they need through childhood.

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