Children closely observe and learn from what the adults around them actually do in practice, not just what they say. Modeling the behaviors you want your children to imitate — sharing, emotional control and self-restraint, good communications, etc — can be an important way of shaping your child’s behavior, as can pointing out when other adults model these same behaviors. Giving children attention for behaviors you like and dialing it down for bad behavior can be much more effective than fixating on bad behavior.

Key Takeaways:

  • Model certain behaviors, such as sharing or calming yourself down, so your child can imitate you.
  • Give your children extra attention when they are behaving well and try not to pay attention to them when they are misbehaving.
  • A brief, loving touch during times when your children are playing or working quietly gives them positive reinforcement without interrupting them.

“Helping shape your children’s behavior is a key part of being a parent.”

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