Reward Good Behavior.
If you catch your child doing something you've been trying to get him to do, like brushing his teeth without having to nag him or coming to breakfast ready for school, thank him and say you appreciate it, suggests David Sabine, Ph.D., a psychologist who works with families in Wichita, Texas. Your praise will mean a lot and reinforce his positive habits. For chronic bad behavior -- like teasing a sibling -- use a combination of reinforcement and consequences, says Dr. Sabine. Tell your child that if he misbehaves, there will be a penalty, but if he's consistently good -- going a week without taunting his brother, for instance -- you'll reward him with a special outing or extra playtime. Once the good behavior is a habit, skip rewards. But occasional praise is still a great reminder that he's come a long way.