Thursday, August 29, 2013


by Grandma Jeddah

One of the easiest things to do that can get your child to behave well is to compliment him for good behavior. 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.
            Pat-on-the-back 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 your having to count to three, 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.

Get in the habit of complimenting your child more often.  Have you ever noticed sometimes when you say something nice to someone such as “I like your new outfit,” the listener responds with “Huh?” or ”What?” They appear to be surprised to hear a compliment. They actually heard your words quite clearly, but it’s as if they want you to repeat it so they can relish the moment. Whenever you compliment your child, you will likely get his attention.  Keep this useful tool in mind when trying to correct your child’s behavior.

Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.This is an excerpt from her 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.  Subscribe to her free newsletter at --

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