· Make eye contact before setting a limit. Say, “look at me.”
· Make one request at a time and be specific.
· Give instructions that tell your child what to “do” rather than “don’t.”
· Give warnings about transitions or changes.
· Reward good behavior at least as often as you punish bad behavior.
· Always try to find a way to change a behavior through a reward.
· Have your child tell you what rewards motivate them.
· Use rewards that aren’t monetary or food.
· Try visual tools like star charts.
· Give choices rather than ultimatums.
· Be consistent and be able to follow through with any threat or promise you make.
· Look to use naturally occurring consequences as learning tools.
· Remain calm—take a time out yourself if you need to.
And finally, some ideas for common problems:
· Have special books and toys that your child can use only when you are on the phone (rather than bugging you).
· To reduce sibling fights, have them work on not fighting to gain a shared reward.