Positive Reinforcement

Would you like to find the best way to build your child’s self esteem and get better behavior at the same time? Try to use positive reinforcement to build on good behavior and watch your child grow more confident and repeat the good behavior. Children love praise for things they do that please you. What better way to improve behavior than to focus on the positive in your child and let him or her know that you are aware of the good behavior. By using positive reinforcement you create building blocks for your child’s good behavior and self confidence. Try it and see how you and your child benefit!

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Methods for Better Behavior in School

Here are some strategies to improve kids behavior in school. Methods include tickets, rewards, and incentive programs to reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Read some of the creative rewards that teachers in many grade schools use as reported on ProTeacher Community blog at

http://www.proteacher.org/c/659_Rewards_and_Incentives.html .

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How Do Encouragement and Love Help Improve Child Behavior?

How do encouragement and love help improve child behavior?

As parents we are sometimes looking for ways to improve our children’s behavior. Some of the best help can be found by applying some pretty simple and age old methods. Kids crave love and attention and flourish with encouragement. When kids are not getting any attention, they may act out or misbehave in order to get our attention. Sometimes as parents, we may get caught up in the daily rigors of our lives and it is easy to forget to actively show our children our love and encouragement. So here is a method you can use to build on good behavior. Take a moment out of each day and catch your child being good. Take notice and praise your child for that good behavior and let him or her know how much you love them. It can be something as small as praising your child for waiting patiently for you, or getting along with others, or playing quietly, or even helping you with a chore. The idea is that you take notice of the positive behavior and make it known to your child that you are aware of it, and that you are proud of him or her and that you love him or her. You can build on that concept by adding rewards if you so choose, but even without a reward, your child and his or her behavior will surely benefit. As with anything in life, you get out what you put in, and making some time during your day to give your children the love and reinforcement they need, will likely help to improve your children’s behavior. And if not, at least your child will know he or she is loved. And that goes a long way too!

See more about positive reinforcement and rewards to improve child behavior at http://www.ticketstoregame.com .

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Which type of child discipline is right for me?

We as parents are faced with some difficult choices when it comes to disciplining our children. There are those who follow an “old school” train of though that discipline should involve instilling fear in children by trying to correct bad behavior by physical punishment by way of spanking or worse. In some cases, that method creates a disciplined child, but a child whose discipline is based on fear of their parents.

There are others who would tend to continually ask their children to behave, but who use no tools to help them actually get good behavior. This is more of a “discipline without discipline” method and often results in the child really running the show, and doing what he or she wants to do, when they want to do it. The end result of that method is usually frustration on the part of the parents, and lack of discipline for the child.

Another method, which has been incorporated in to the Ticket Store Game, uses the concepts of children “earning” their way to good behavior and then using the powerful method of positive reinforcement to reinforce the good behavior. Set behavior goals for your child to achieve, reward the child for achieving the goal, and then reinforce the behavior. While each of us have to determine which method is best for our children and families, there are some real benefits to creating lasting behavioral traits from positive reinforcement. Whether you use the patented Ticket Store Game method or just the concepts that have been incorporated in the game, you may want to consider which type of discipline is right for you, and start to implement a consistent plan to achieve your goals! We like to get better behavior-one ticket at a time!

You can purchase the Ticket Store Game at: http://www.ticketstoregame.com/BuyNow.aspx

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Great Tips for Better Behavior From Your Kids-What parents can do.

Here is a helpful article from ADD Magazine for getting better behavior from your kids which incorporates many of the methods used with the Ticket Store Game.

Spend unstructured time together
Schedule 15 minutes each day with your child, to do whatever he wants to. Playing together helps repair the parent-child bond and lays the groundwork for positive reinforcement n the future.

Praise good behavior immediately and often
Positive reinforcement is the best behavioral tool, and especially powerful when it comes from a parent. Look for opportunities throughout the day to praise your child. Keep praise immediate and enthusiastic, and specify the exact behavior you’re commending.

Reinforce praise with tokens
This works especially well with young children. Tokens can be anything tangible and easily recorded — stars on a chart, coins in a jar — and should be awarded promptly for good behavior. Once a certain number of tokens are amassed, the child earns a predetermined reward, such as a video game, a sleepover at a friend’s house, or a trip to the movies.

Don’t ask, tell
Don’t start your requests with “Would you mind?”, or finish them with “O.K.?” Instead, make directives clear and succinct: “I notice your coat is on the floor. I’d like you to pick it up.”

Insist that your child make eye contact with you when you speak to him or her
That way, you prevent your kid from ignoring you, while reinforcing what you’re trying to communicate. “This can be done with humor,” says child psychologist Douglas Riley. “I use the phrase, ‘Give me your eyeballs.'”

Let your children know (politely) that they’re not your equals
“I urge parents to make it clear that they own everything in their home,” says Riley. “Kids are often outraged to discover this. But they need to know that you’re in charge, and that access to all the nice things in life, like the phone, TV, and computer, has to be earned by showing positive behavior and a good attitude.”

Set up and explain consequences for misbehavior ahead of time
These consequences should involve taking away privileges, such as access to the TV, playtime with friends, or another favorite activity. Particularly bad conduct, such as hitting or other physical violence should result in an extended time-out (30 minutes for children over 8, an hour for adolescents), in an isolated room, where the child is instructed to think about his or her behavior.

Stick to the consequences, no matter what.
“If your child hits a sibling five times and gets punished for it only three times, he knows he’s got a 40 percent chance of getting away with that behavior,” says psychiatrist Larry Silver, M.D. “A parent has to be 100 percent consistent in addressing bad behavior. Otherwise, the behavior may persist or even get worse.”

http://www.additudemag.com/additude/article/1744.html

You can purchase the Ticket Store Game at http://www.ticketstoregame.com/BuyNow.aspx

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Avoiding the Melt Down-Using Self Control

Experiencing a child melt down in a public place or even in your home can be a very frustrating experience. Your self control can actually lead to your child’s self control. If you do not act out of impulse to your child’s melt down, but try a more reasoned approach, you will have a much better chance of getting the melt down under control.

The process can be difficult, but can bring back real rewards for the parents in the form of good behavior. For example, if you tell your child you are not serving dessert until after dinner, and the child cries and whines and has a tantrum, if you exercise self control by not giving in, your child will learn that the temper tantrum will not give him the result he wants, and he may actually lose dessert altogether. The learned behavior will be that it is better to wait for dessert than to melt down.

While the Ticket Store Game can help with day to day behavior, here are some age appropriate suggestions for dealing with melt down behavior:

up to 2 year olds: Try to distract them with their favorite toy or activity. As the child gets closer to 2, try a brief time out so that the child will understand the consequences of his actions. Also, praise your child for calming himself. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in getting a message across.

3 to 5 year olds: Continue with the time out, but consider having the time out last until the child has completely calmed down, with no time limit. This will help your child to develop self control, since he will realize that the time out will not stop until he has regained his self control. Again, reinforce the child’s progress and ability to regain control by praise and positive reinforcement.

6 to 9 year olds: As children spend more time in school, they tend to start to understand more about the consequences of their actions. Encourage children in this age group to stop and think about what will happen based on their actions. Help your child to understand that he can walk away from situations that may cause a melt down reaction. And encourage and praise good behavior.

10 to 11 year olds: As children reach this age, they are generally becoming more aware of their feelings and have the ability to think through situations that may cause them to lose control. Help your child to take time to think through a situation before responding to it. They may find that the situation is not as bad as they had initially thought, and as a result, the melt down is avoided.

Teaching a child self control is important since that skill will likely stay with the child for their whole life. Of course, each situation is different for every child, but using these suggestions along with incorporating the day to day concepts of the Ticket Store Game can help your child improve his behavior, and hopefully avoid the melt down!

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Tips on how to help control parental anger

Sometimes we as parents feel angry because our children are not listening and responding the way we want. Here are some tips that may help in controlling your anger.

1. Try to adjust how you think about what your child is doing. We may begin to believe that our son/daughter is trying to push our buttons or make us angry on purpose. Think of your child as someone just trying to figure out the wide world. Adjust your expectations. And try not to react. You may find that this lowers your anger level.

2. Pay attention to yourself. If you see that you are getting ready to respond in a negative way or snap, know your own warning signs and intervene before you react. Take a moment to regroup. You will find that by paying attention to your own stress meter, you can avoid the angry blow up. Use deep breathing calming techniques for yourself, so that the message you are giving to your child is more balanced and controlled.

3. Reduce stressful moments by being clear in your directives. Use short, clear, and firm instructions. Avoid sarcasm and use praise whenever possible. By being clear and firm, without losing control, you help create a balanced and nurturing environment in which to raise your child.

Keeping calm is not easy, especially with the stress of children who may be demanding of your time and energy to the point of exhaustion. By trying to incorporate some of these techniques, parents can hopefully avoid responding with anger and can build on positive interaction with their children. Use these techniques along with the Ticket Store Game to help improve your child’s behavior. Good luck and enjoy the process!

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Tips for parents

One of the most important things in helping to improve behavior is to create a loving relationship with your child. Showing your child that you are willing to take the time to listen, learn, play and teach will go a long way in building that loving relationship. Taking the time to put in the effort and play games together and laugh strengthens the loving bond.

Get ahead of the curve. Plan ahead and anticipate behavior issues before they become a problem. Be pro-active in giving instruction and guidance to help avoid behavior problems. Utilize games and interactive methods to create positive feedback for good behavior.

Reinforce good behavior. Get focused on your child’s good behavior and build on it. Praise often. Children thrive on knowing that they are doing good and that they have your approval. Catch your child being good, and let him or her know it. You will be surprised how helpful that can be.

Remember, it sometimes takes small steps to make big progress! Stay with it. It is worth all the effort!

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Family Doctor.org article on developing your child’s self esteem

Here is an article on developing your child’s self esteem from Family Doctor.org.  The article identifies positive reinforcement as an important tool in building self esteem.  That is another reason positive reinforcement is used while playing the Ticket Store Game.

Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.

In contrast, kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as “I’m no good” or “I can’t do anything right,” they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response is “I can’t.”

Here’s how you can play important role in promoting healthy self-esteem in your child.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem is the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves, our “self-perceptions.” How we define ourselves influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviors and affects our emotional adjustment.

Patterns of self-esteem start very early in life. For example, a toddler who reaches a milestone experiences a sense of accomplishment that bolsters self-esteem. Learning to roll over after dozens of unsuccessful attempts teaches a baby a “can-do” attitude.

The concept of success following persistence starts early. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why parental involvement is key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions.

Self-esteem also can be defined as feelings of capability combined with feelings of being loved. A child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. Likewise, a child who feels loved but is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also end up with low self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem comes when the right balance is reached.

Signs of Unhealthy and Healthy Self-Esteem

Self-esteem fluctuates as kids grow. It’s frequently changed and fine-tuned, because it is affected by a child’s experiences and new perceptions. So it helps to be aware of the signs of both healthy and unhealthy self-esteem.

Kids with low self-esteem may not want to try new things, and may frequently speak negatively about themselves: “I’m stupid,” “I’ll never learn how to do this,” or “What’s the point? Nobody cares about me anyway.” They may exhibit a low tolerance for frustration, giving up easily or waiting for somebody else to take over. They tend to be overly critical of and easily disappointed in themselves. Kids with low self-esteem see temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions, and a sense of pessimism predominates.

Kids with healthy self-esteem tend to enjoy interacting with others. They’re comfortable in social settings and enjoys group activities as well as independent pursuits. When challenges arise, they can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others. For example, rather than saying, “I’m an idiot,” a child with healthy self-esteem says, “I don’t understand this.” They know their strengths and weaknesses, and accept them. A sense of optimism prevails.

How Parents Can Help

How can a parent help to foster healthy self-esteem in a child? These tips can make a big difference:  •Watch what you say. Kids are very sensitive to parents’ words. Remember to praise your child not only for a job well done, but also for effort. But be truthful. For example, if your child doesn’t make the soccer team, avoid saying something like, “Well, next time you’ll work harder and make it.” Instead, try “Well, you didn’t make the team, but I’m really proud of the effort you put into it.” Reward effort and completion instead of outcome. •Be a positive role model. If you’re excessively harsh on yourself, pessimistic, or unrealistic about your abilities and limitations, your child may eventually mirror you. Nurture your own self-esteem, and your child will have a great role model. •Identify and redirect your child’s inaccurate beliefs. It’s important for parents to identify kids’ irrational beliefs about themselves, whether they’re about perfection, attractiveness, ability, or anything else. Helping kids set more accurate standards and be more realistic in evaluating themselves will help them have a healthy self-concept. Inaccurate perceptions of self can take root and become reality to kids. For example, a child who does very well in school but struggles with math may say, “I can’t do math. I’m a bad student.” Not only is this a false generalization, it’s also a belief that will set the child up for failure. Encourage kids to see a situation in its true light. A helpful response might be: “You are a good student. You do great in school. Math is just a subject that you need to spend more time on. We’ll work on it together.” •Be spontaneous and affectionate. Your love will go a long way to boost your child’s self-esteem. Give hugs and tell kids you’re proud of them. Pop a note in your child’s lunchbox that reads, “I think you’re terrific!” Give praise frequently and honestly, without overdoing it. Kids can tell whether something comes from the heart. •Give positive, accurate feedback. Comments like “You always work yourself up into such a frenzy!” will make kids feel like they have no control over their outbursts. A better statement is, “You were really mad at your brother. But I appreciate that you didn’t yell at him or hit him.” This acknowledges a child’s feelings, rewards the choice made, and encourages the child to make the right choice again next time. •Create a safe, loving home environment. Kids who don’t feel safe or are abused at home will suffer immensely from low self-esteem. A child who is exposed to parents who fight and argue repeatedly may become depressed and withdrawn. Also watch for signs of abuse by others, problems in school, trouble with peers, and other factors that may affect kids’ self-esteem. Deal with these issues sensitively but swiftly. And always remember to respect your kids. •Help kids become involved in constructive experiences. Activities that encourage cooperation rather than competition are especially helpful in fostering self-esteem. For example, mentoring programs in which an older child helps a younger one learn to read can do wonders for both kids.   Finding Professional Help

If you suspect your child has low self-esteem, consider professional help. Family and child counselors can work to uncover underlying issues that prevent a child from feeling good about himself or herself.

Therapy can help kids learn to view themselves and the world positively. When kids see themselves in a more realistic light, they can accept who they truly are.

With a little help, every child can develop healthy self-esteem for a happier, more fulfilling life.

Reviewed by: David V. Sheslow, PhD  Date reviewed: November 2008

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