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You’ve probably heard countless recommendations on how to get your child to change their behavior. Sometimes it’s through rewards, other times it’s by using punishments or threat of punishment, and still others talk about changing the subject. Whatever you decide to do, keep reading to discover 5 tips for keeping kids happy and focused on learning instead of getting them ready for kindergarten.

Keep Trying

The first step toward changing a child’s behavior is definitely keeping trying. At the end of the day, kids are animals, so we all make mistakes. Even the cutest squeaky wheel gets oiled up by the™, and that’s exactly what you need to do with your child, too. So don’t just give up. Instead, try again and again until your child starts to make progress. It may take a little time, but it will surely pay off in the long run.

Don’t Just Give Up

Don’t give up just because your child is no longer a toddler. This is when the signs are very obvious. You should be checking in with your child at every cycle to make sure they are still interested in learning, and they are still working toward their goal. You should also be making sure they are feeling confident enough to go to school and do their chores without getting in trouble. This is when you can start to get your child on the right track.

Never Stop Trying

It’s not just about getting your child to stop doing what they are doing. You also have to make sure you are seeing them on the outside as well as the inside. If you are regularly seeing your child in a different setting, with a different person, then that is a big deal. It’s normal for kids to feel shy around new people, and you may even start to ask them what they are thinking when they don’t say anything. That is okay. It just means you are currently within the zone where you can see them as themselves instead of a shadow. Making sure your child is actively enjoying themselves—not just sitting there passively—is the best way to keep trying. Finding things to do, having a blast, and having a mind to persevere throughout the process will only make your child happy, not to mention improve your relationship with your child.

Rewards and punishments work together

If nothing else, this breakup of a relationship will teach your child a valuable lesson. You should be rewarding your child for doing what you want them to do and giving them opportunities to get their tips. But you shouldn’t be giving them too hard of a task. You should be giving your child things to do—not things to be ashamed of or afraid of! Some things are better left to the side. Rewards are great, but they must bedeserved. Punishments are better than being unsure about what to do.

Good Words and Bad Words

Good words and bad words: They may sound like opposites, but they actually work in tandem to change a child’s behavior. If your child always gets a “yes,” then “no,” then “never,” then “angry” then “finally,” then “classroom” it is, then “I don’t know,” then “okay,” then “okay,” then “okay,” then “I don’t know,” then “WOOF”