We may be used to noticing when behaviors go wrong.
For example, our child is running down the hall.
We yell at them.
They think we’re nagging.
We want them to be safe.
What can we do instead?
Catch our children being good.
What does “catch them being good” mean?
It means giving attention (i.e., praise) to any behavior that our child is doing that we'd like to see more of.
For example, our child is sitting at the table eating their meal. We could say, “thank you for eating dinner with me.” or “It is nice having dinner with you.”
This phrase (or a similar phrase) may feel strange at first but will become natural with daily practice.
Below are some examples of catching your child being good; wording ideas.
LP = Labeled Praise
UP = Unlabeled Praise
DC = Direct Command
Our child rarely speaks to their sibling. When our child says almost anything (apart from negative words) to their sibling, praise them.
Thank you for answering your brother. (LP)
Our children see our behaviors. If we yell, they will yell. If we can be calm, they can be calm.