Parenting Connection: How to help your kids witness and experience positive behaviors

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It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday, and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to help kids witness and experience positive behaviors

Most families are spending quite a lot of time together since be ordered to “stay at home.” This means your kids are getting an extra dose of your behavior and child experts say, if you’re displaying negative tones, aggression, or depression… it’ll likely rub off.

Child experts say, kids learn and imitate behaviors by watching and listening to others, especially their parents. This observational learning can take place anywhere too — on TV, the grocery store, or on the playground… and can be done without direct interaction. Through the process, children can pick-up both good and bad habits and that’s why Michigan State University child development expert Kendra Moyses says, parents need to pay extra attention.

“Kids are going to model everything. You need to view your kids as little video recorders because they are taking in everything whether you realize it or not. A lot of times a child will do or say something and the parents will be like ‘Oh my Gosh, I do that all the time’ – so one of the things you have to be careful with is the thing you expose your child to because they are going to model both good and bad behaviors.”

Here are some tips from the Michigan State University Extension on how to help make sure your child has opportunities to see and experience positive modeling behaviors:
*Create positive surroundings. Surround your kids where positive behaviors are reinforced.
*Limit negative influences. Try your best to eliminate places, people, or activities that bring with it negative vibes.
*Notice the positive. This means every time your kid properly behaves, point it out.
*Do as you say. Child experts say, a parent is the most important teacher and when they see kindness and compassion from you, they will follow.

Child experts say, if you can try and model positive behavior early in a kids life, the easier it’ll be for them to retain these qualities as they grow older.

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