Saturday, May 15, 2010

Creative Ways to Teach Sharing; and How to Teach Independence

By Dr. Rossi Davis

Positive reinforcement in the form of praise, modeling, creative play and storytelling are all ways that can help your child learn positive behaviors such as sharing and autonomy.

Praise is something you cannot give too much of to a child. It is an incentive to do well and to excel and a way to acknowledge each child’s uniqueness. Parents often are so busy that they forget to praise a child for a job well done. To a child, nothing besides hearing “I love you” is as important as a parent’s praise. It helps the child develop healthy self-esteem, be proud of his uniqueness and efforts, and develop healthy and appropriate relationships with others. When a child is praised, he learns that people acknowledge his work and that more good work brings more positive feedback. A child’s sense of identity and worldview develops largely as a result of the feedback he receives from his parents starting at an early age.

Parents can allocate age related tasks and model to their child how something is to be done. This instills in the child a sense of pride. Autonomy develops in time with positive reinforcement. Children feel a sense of belonging and see that their actions produce desirable results. With younger children, parents can start to teach children about socially appropriate behaviors such as sharing, compassion and truthfulness through the use of storytelling and creative play. Praise and positive feedback are essential so the child can feel acknowledgement for their actions, which will further reinforce the desired behaviors.