BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT TIP: When stating demands to your child, avoid phrasing your demand in the form of a question (ex: "Can you pick up your toys?"). It's harder for your child to differentiate the semantics between when you're merely asking a question to ask for your child's response, input or preference and when you mean you want your child to complete the action specified in your question. Avoid this confusion by using clear language. Simply state the action you want your child to do (ex: "Pick up your toys").
BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT TIP: Catch your child being "good." Give specific praise and attention to your child for spontaneously saying and doing positive things, such as complying with directions, playing quietly alone while you visit with guests, please/thank you, cleaning up their toys, complimenting someone, sharing, accepting being told "no" appropriately, etc.
BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT TIP: Tell your children what you want them to do versus what you DON'T want them to do. For example: "Please eat with your fork" vs "Don't eat with your fingers" OR "Don't leave your dirty clothes on the floor" vs "Put your dirty clothes in the hamper". The word "No" seems to invite your child to do the opposite. Be sure to praise your child if he/she complies with what it is you're asking.
Jami Hughes, Psy.D, LP, BCBA-D, Executive Director