If you’re a mom, you know that having well-behaved kids is something to be proud of.
But what habits do these moms have in common?
According to experts, the following eight habits are the key to raising well-behaved children. So why not give them a try? Your kids will thank you for it!
8 Habits of People With Well-Behaved Kids
Here are 8 habits you can follow to have well-behaved children…and not be afraid to take them out anywhere in public!
1. They establish rules and expectations early on
Parents with well-behaved kids know that children thrive when they have a routine and know what to expect. That’s why it’s so important to establish rules and expectations from the very beginning. By setting clear boundaries, you can help your child feel secure and avoid potential conflict.
When you set rules for kids, you’re telling them what’s okay and what’s not okay. You are giving them a road map to follow, and then you’re saying, “stay on the yellow brick road.” Because if they veer off of it, they’re likely to come into some trouble that they don’t want.
Like if you’re teaching your child to swim for the first time. You keep them from bobbing under the water when they’re just learning. You’re guiding them to how to swim, kick their legs, move their arms, and keep their mouths closed!
And then, soon enough, you will witness them take off on their own, following your earlier instructions, and swimming like a fish without your assistance.
Think of rules and boundaries like this when it comes to setting them for your kids. When you do set them from the very beginning, the values they learn will be instilled in their hearts from before they can remember and you’ll have a lot less problems with them as they’re older. You can’t avoid problems altogether, but it’ll be easier. 😊
2. They are consistent with their discipline
Of course, it’s also important to be consistent with your enforcement of the rules. If you only occasionally enforce them, your child will quickly learn that they can be ignored. However, if you are consistent in your expectations, your child will soon develop a sense of order and discipline. As a result, they will be more likely to behave in an appropriate manner both at home and in public.
One of the most important things to remember is that discipline is not a destination; it is a journey. It requires continuous effort and vigilance. It is not something that can be turned on and off like a light switch; it must be maintained every day.
Well-behaved kids learn through consistent discipline. They learn the boundaries, right from wrong, and will start seeing how it all shapes their world and foundation for a Christ-like life.
3. They avoid power struggles
All parents want what’s best for their children, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how to discipline them effectively. One common approach is to use power struggles, in which the parent attempts to assert their authority by forcing the child to comply.
However, this can often backfire, leading to resentment and disobedience. A better approach is to avoid power struggles altogether. This doesn’t mean that you have to give in to your child’s every whim, but rather that you should find other ways to resolve conflict.
For instance, you can offer choices, set limits calmly and consistently, and provide explanations for your decisions. By taking this approach, you can avoid power struggles and help your child learn to cooperate and compromise.
If your child is having trouble cooperating, be sure to put them in some sort of team sport. I grew up playing baseball on an all boys baseball team as a kid and LOVED IT! Still to this day, it brings back so many memories and so many lessons learned: sportsmanship, caring about others (your team), cooperating, growing and learning together, and using strategies to win to name a few.
Many of those lessons learned as a kid affect me still to this day. In a dog-eat-dog world, I tend to take the approach that there’s room at the top for everyone. I HELP other bloggers be successful, for example, instead of tearing others down. I’m very strategic too, which helps me on this blog to create products and blog posts that you guys will love and to take steps that will be successful.
4. They praise good behavior more than they criticize bad behavior
One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to praise your child’s good behavior. This will encourage them to continue doing things that please you.
A good rule of thumb is to give sincere and specific praise for each desired behavior. For example, instead of simply saying “good job,” try: “I’m proud of you for hanging up your coat without being asked.”
Along with praising good behavior, it’s also important to discourage bad behavior in a calm and constructive way. For example, if your child is acting out in class, you might say, “I know you’re capable of sitting still and paying attention. Let’s try to do that tomorrow.” By focusing on the desired behavior, you can help your child learn or be reminded what good behavior to model and what well-behaved children looks like.
5. They set a good example
Children are constantly watching and learning from their parents. If you want your child to be honest, you need to be honest. If you want them to be respectful, you need to be respectful.
This begins with you, as the parent. If you want your kids not to be lazy every day, then perhaps you should lead by example and make sure you, too, are getting up and moving around the house, being the Proverbs 31 woman as best as you can and doing whatever you may need to do to not only serve your family, but serve the kingdom of Christ.
Kids need a role model they can learn from. If parents aren’t there to give it to them, kids will look elsewhere to model those behaviors. And it might not be a behavior you’d like them to mirror!
One of the things kids should definitely witness you doing is reading your Bible, praying, and listening to sermons every day of the week. It’s important for kids to not only know about God, but to also know that they can pray to Him, confide in Him, and they can grow a relationship with Him throughout their lives.
As they witness you praying and reading, they will learn this behavior and start doing this themselves. Parents of well-behaved kids understand this, or have practiced this into action.
I know it can be difficult sometimes being your very best person every single day, but if you outline what you’d like your kids to do or see each day, and act on that, then it will become much easier to represent a righteous person.
Remember that your child is always watching and listening, even when you think they’re not! So it’s important to set a good example in everything you do.
6. They avoid making empty threats
This is one that I struggle with myself and am currently working on it. When you make a threat, it’s important to follow through. Otherwise, your child will quickly learn that they can ignore your threats without consequence.
For instance, if you tell your child that they will be grounded if they don’t clean their room, you need to follow through with that punishment if they don’t comply. Otherwise, they will learn that your threats are empty and that they don’t have to take you seriously.
It’s also important to avoid making threats that you can’t or don’t intend to follow through on because it’s sin not to! Matthew 5:37 says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
It means, don’t lie. If you’re saying you’ll do something, you do it. To not do it, means you’re lying, which is sin. That’s not to say something can’t come up in life that prevents you from doing something (or maybe God veto’s your decision by preventing it or something like that) but that as much as it depends on you, let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you say no, don’t let them talk you out of it. Or they will learn quickly that your no is just a negotiation phase!!!!!
As a kid, I learned very quickly that my mom’s no, just meant I wasn’t trying hard enough. You don’t want to be that kind of parent!
Another example is threatening to send your child to their room for the rest of the day if you know that you’ll probably give in and let them out after a few minutes. Making empty threats will only undermine your authority and make it more difficult to discipline your child effectively.
If you want well-behaved kids, make sure you stay true to your word in everything you say and do, including warning them about the consequences.
7. They use positive reinforcement
Another habit of people with well-behaved kids is that they use positive reinforcement. This involves providing your child with a reward after they display desired behavior.
For instance, you might give them a sticker or allow them to choose a toy from the store after they behave well in public. Or you could let them have their pick for which activity to play. Positive reinforcement can be a helpful tool for teaching desired behavior.
If you’re looking for positive reinforcement systems, I have emoji behavior bucks on the blog your children will ADORE!
8. They avoid comparing siblings
Finally, people with well-behaved children avoid comparing their children to one another. This can lead to sibling rivalry and resentment. Each child has their own strengths, weaknesses, talents, gifts, mannerisms, attitude, and so on. You can’t really treat each child the exact same way because each child is not the same.
Therefore, you shouldn’t compare your kids against each other, or say, “Timmy did this, why can’t you?” Because while things come naturally to kids, those same things may need more effort for other kids. Like learning math if you homeschool or when doing homework. Some kids whiz right through math problems, through all the concepts, once they’ve learned them. And others struggle every day to understand yesterday’s concepts for today’s problems. Would you tell this child, “Timmy whizzed right through the math problems, why can’t you?”
I would hope not. This is how it is in all areas, not just a math lesson. Besides, talents can be strengthened over time. I’m not sure even Picasso knew how to paint a masterpiece in one day since he could pick up a paintbrush. But if he was constantly compared to Michelangelo, he would probably start looking like Michelangelo’s painting style and not his own! And we all love Picasso’s painting style!
It’s important to remember that each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. So instead of comparing your children to one another, focus on each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to better understand and support each of your children.
By following these habits, you can create a positive and constructive parenting style that will promote well-behaved kids. Remember that there is no one right way to parent. So find what works for you and your family, and stick with it. With consistency and patience, you can help your child develop into a well-rounded individual, one you will be happy to take anywhere and proudly say, “I have well-behaved children!”