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Good Practices for Encouraging Positive Behaviour

As G1 grows up, we have observed cyclical patterns of difficult behaviours. Although he is generally my “good” kid, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge these very trying periods that often make me question the kind of parent I have been. Perhaps that’s what makes it even harder for me to accept – the fact that he is my “good” kid. Because I know what he’s capable of, I have a tendency to over-react when he misbehaves.

During these periods, it is difficult not to feel the deep-seated fear that I have messed up – I didn’t do things right, I didn’t do enough, or I just wasn’t enough. And then I remind myself that he is still a child and still a “work in progress” – as Makoto Shichida likes to remind us parents – and as a parent, it is my job to continually redirect him when he goes off tangent – preferably in a calm and rational manner (as difficult as that may be at times).

I don’t always know the right things to say or the best way to motivate him. As he grows older, I am beginning to feel like I say the wrong things more often than the right. The perfect visions I used to have that my son would always come running to me when he needed help and advice are withering away with the stark reality that he keeps more and more from me with age. I am left with the sickening realisation that though he loves me, I may still be the last person in the know when trouble arises.

What is a mother to do?

If my words no longer hold the magic they once did, then perhaps there are other ways to build positive character. Based on everything that I have read, the following activities are good places to start:

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation improves self-regulation and encourages positive emotional outlook.

2. Gratitude Diary

Being grateful increases joy, optimism, happiness, compassion and generosity.

Image Source: The Primal Yogi

3. Achievements Diary

Thinking or writing about your family, your strengths or something that is important to you boosts confidence and performance.

4. Music Lessons

Playing a musical instrument develops emotional regulation and empathy which is good for making friends, and children with friends are happier.

Learning the piano

5. Sports and Physical Activity

Sports and Physical Activity improves emotional wellbeing, develops social skills, encourages positive school environment, and reduces anti-social behaviour.

EnerZ Extreme Park in Subang

6. The Great Outdoors

Being immersed in nature on a regular basis improves self-esteem, and increases resistance to stress and depression.

Bukit Nanas... City boys in an urban jungle trek...

So that is my homework for the boys…


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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