One of the greatest mistakes we can make when disciplining our children is failing to acknowledge their good behavior. Complimenting your child for appropriate behavior is one of the most effective ways of getting your child to repeat doing the things you want him to do. It sounds easy, but it seems to be one of the most difficult practices for parents to master. It’s so easy for us to find fault with our children. But when they behave well, we fail to praise them and show our pleasure. How would you feel if from morning to night you had to listen to constant complaints-- "Don’t do this . . . Don’t do that . . . Didn't I tell you not to . . . Stop it . . . " You’d probably feel angry, unsure of yourself and agitated. Not to mention you'd frequently pretend not to hear the speaker’s voice.
When your child is quietly content, playing with his toys or getting along with his younger sibling, you are hesitant to disturb the peace. You are so happy to relax and take a breather from all the usual commotion, you tend not to compliment your child to let him know how pleased you are with him for making salat on time, cleaning his room, not playing ball in the house, or getting along with his brother. But it’s essential to switch from this pattern if you want to see more of this favored behavior in the future. So true is the saying--an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Commending your child for suitable behavior necessities retraining your thought patterns. You have to actually look for good deeds and behavior from your child and praise him for it. We all like our efforts acknowledged. Our kids do too.
When your son gets off the computer next time without you having to repeat yourself, let him know you appreciate his promptness. When you compliment him, he will feel more inclined toward obeying you next time. You might also find an improvement in other areas of his behavior as an unexpected side benefit. Keep this useful tool in mind when trying to correct your child’s behavior.
This is an excerpt from Grandma Jeddah’s e-Book: Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child—And Keep Your Peace of Mind While at It. To order her e-Book or receive her free newsletter, visit her at www.grandmajeddah.com