Tip #1: Catch your child doing behaviors you want them to do!
Since parenting can sometimes feel like you're putting out fires right and left, caregivers may forget to praise children when they're not using the undesirable behavior. By specifically addressing times the child is using positive behaviors (e.g., "great job playing quietly while I was on the phone."), caregivers can encourage the child to use them more.
Tip #2: Give choices
Giving choices allows your child to feel like they have some control over their situation, and it may make them more willing to participate. Try and find small options within an activity they can choose from. For example, if your child struggles with leaving the park you can ask, "do you want to jump or skip to the car?"
Tip #3: Provide predictable routines
Consistent schedules help children understand their daily routine and prepare for what comes next. Although there is often variation in our daily schedule, implementing small, predictable steps in routines can
have the same effect. For example, your child might be more ready to head out the door each day if they complete the same steps each time (e.g., wash their hands, find their shoes, wait on the mat).
Tip #4: Be mindful of transitions
Ending an enjoyable activity can be hard! Pairing a verbal warning ("one more minute to play") and a timer makes it clear when the transition will occur. This timer may also take some the "blame" away from you as a caregiver since the time said it was time to go, not you.
Tip #5: Use "first, then" language
This language gives clear instructions and shows your child they will get what they want after following your given direction. It creates a win-win situation for you and your child. An example would be, "FIRST, we pick up your toys ... THEN, we can play outside."
Adapted from: Early Intervention Resource Group