Follow Through And Do What You Say You Will Do
If your child isn't allowed outside unless she's wearing shoes, don't let her go outside until she has put her shoes on. Children pick up on inconsistency extremely quickly, and they will test you and push you every time. If you give in once, they'll try to make you give in every time. Following through helps them know that you are the parent, and you are the one in charge of each situation.
Set Behavior Expectations Ahead Of Time
We've all seen the tired, frustrated mother in the doctor's office with all of her children running in different directions. Although this may feel like your situation sometimes, it doesn't have to be. Before you go somewhere that requires a different type of behavior, like the library, doctor's office, or the bank, talk to your children before they get out of the car. Let them know that you are about to enter "fill in the blank", and you expect them to behave "fill in the blank". Let them know that running, shouting, playing, etc. are not appropriate in this type of place, and that while that's great to do at the playground, it's not good here. Letting them know what's expected of them helps them to recognize how to choose good behavior.
Reward Them Unexpectedly
If you see your child doing something great that you didn't ask him to do, reward him. Whether it's an extra ten minutes of reading time before bed, or special alone time with Mom or Dad, find a reward system that works for your family to reinforce and reward good behavior. By reinforcing good behavior you will help your child discern between what is known as good behavior and bad behavior, and help them develop good habits and attitudes.
Give Timeouts When Needed
Most people think of time outs as a negative parenting tactic, but a time out is basically just removing the child from the problematic situation and giving them a chance to reset. For a positive time out experience, when your child is doing something he or she shouldn't be, give him or her one warning. If he or she persists after the warning, take them to your designated time out spot. Tell him or her in a calm voice what he has done, and why you have chosen to put him or her in timeout. Then set the timer, one minute for every year of age. If they leave timeout, put them back without saying a single word to them, and reset the timer. After enough repeats, they will stay in timeout on their own. When the timer has gone off, get down to eye level and explain calmly the reasoning for being in timeout. Tell him or her what kind of behavior you expect from him or her, and have him or her apologize.
There are numerous resources out there to help you develop positive parenting strategies and help you child continue to grow and learn. If you are particularly interested in behavior, you could look in an applied certification for behavior analysis. There are also numerous books and resources online regarding parenting that could help you find new strategies and techniques to implement.
Parenting is never easy, but it doesn't have to be argumentative either. Follow these 4 tips to help raise your kids without introducing negativity into your home. You can do other research for more positive parenting tips to supplement these with and help your child excel.