- Make your praise specific. It takes the guess work out of the situation so your child knows exactly what you approve of. Instead of saying "good job" say "good job cleaning up."
- Make your praise about actions. Praising things your child does allows him or her to repeat that behavior to continue to get your approval. For example, try saying things like "thank you for putting your dishes in the sink" instead of "good boy."
- Catch your child being good or doing the opposite of what bothers you. If your child constantly whines you might be so relieved when it doesn't happen that you just want to enjoy the peace and quiet. But this is the perfect opportunity to praise your child for behaving the way you want. Focus your praise on what you appreciate rather than what bothers you. You might say "I love how calmly your speaking right now" instead of "thanks for not whining."