Behavior Support: Catching Your Child Being Good
It is important to let your child know when they have behaved well. Giving positive attention for good behavior is a great way to teach a child which behavior you like and help to continue those positive behaviors.
What You Will Need
- Small rewards, like a favorite snack, TV show, screen time, stickers, a favorite toy.
What to Do
- At first, try to catch your child being good randomly, or at least one time every 15 minutes.
- Make eye contact.
- Speak with excitement.
- Be specific about the behavior you like. Examples: “I love how you asked for a drink of water,” or “You did a great job picking up all of your toys.”
- Give attention right after the behavior you liked. Do not give attention right after a behavior you did NOT like. Your child should have positive behavior for at least 30 seconds without the negative behavior before you give them attention.
- Give the type of attention your child enjoys. If your child does not like kisses, then give a hug or a high five instead.
- Give positive attention to even small improvements. For example: “That was great throwing your trash away,” or “You did a nice job walking into the store today.”
- Identify behaviors that cannot occur at the same time. For example, instead of punching their sibling, they could use Play-Doh® or speak quietly instead of screaming or whining.
If you have any questions, ask your child’s health care provider.
Behavior Support: Catching Your Child Being Good (PDF)
HH-IV-188 ©2017, Revised 2021, Nationwide Children’s Hospital