Discipline for Softies

Q. Any specific tips for praising a child?

A. Parents may think it sounds silly, but your tone of voice should express over-the-top enthusiasm. Instead of "great," go for "GREAT!!!" Also, explain specifically what you're praising. Rather than saying, "Good boy!" say, "The way you put your toys away was so good!" It's also important to touch your child in some way -- give him a hug or a high five. For the first couple of weeks, you can also use a points chart where stickers or checks add up to rewards, such as a trip to the park or renting a movie. But the chart isn't necessary to change your child's behavior, and it serves more to help you remember to praise.

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