This guide offers parents fresh perspectives and simple skills to encourage good behavior in children and reduce stress for the entire family. Emphasizing personal choice, free will, and dispassionate parent-child interactions, Dr. William H. Hughes's step-by-step approach has been developed, tested, and proven to work time and again by child psychiatrists.
Dr. Hughes demonstrates how parents must allow their children to decide for themselves whether they will cooperate and how they will act. Effective parenting builds character and increases self-confidence. Here, kids learn that they can choose to behave—and be rewarded for it. Dr. Hughes recommends that parents:
• Set expectations. Make clear what the expected behavior is, whether it's doing homework or taking out the trash.
• Monitor behavior. Keep an eye on what children are supposed to be doing, but let them decide for themselves whether they will complete the task.
• Reward. Verbally praise good behavior and offer kids a reward. Let them play video games for an hour or invite a friend to a sleepover.
Many parents are convinced that reward systems simply do not work. Dr. Hughes explains why his approach gets the desired results while other approaches do not. By not engaging in power struggles and giving rewards only when expectations have been met, parents teach their kids that in choosing good behavior they are choosing rewards—and rewards will motivate kids to act better. Dr. Hughes also outlines a clear strategy for dealing with kids who just won't take no for an answer.
The book encourages parents to modify their own behavior, teaching them to shift their focus away from battling with their kids and to use their energy to help their children develop winning habits and attitudes for life.
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