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Health Tip: When Children Break the Rules

Suggestions to encourage better behavior

(HealthDay News) -- Children often perpetuate a behavior when it's rewarded, and stop a behavior when it's ignored, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.

So what can parents do to encourage good behavior? The academy offers these suggestions:

  • Make it clear that bad behavior is not acceptable.
  • Be clear in explaining the rules and your expectations, and how the child can be rewarded.
  • Instead of punishing a child for not following the rules, do not give the child any reward.
  • Rewards may be determined by setting a timer for completion of a task, or by giving children a "star" each time they practice good behavior. After a predetermined number of stars is reached, give the child a reward.
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