Use positive reinforcement to help improve your child’s behavior. Discover 12 children’s books that reinforce positive behavior and discuss their emotions.
Reading has always been a priority for our family. Our first child was in the NICU for her first three weeks, and we were reading to her before she even left the hospital. Cuddling up at night to read a few stories before bed is a tradition that we all look forward to every day. It’s become our special family time.
One collection we’ve developed is about books that reinforce positive behavior. All kids will hit, kick or yell sometimes, but they’re not always willing or able to discuss how they’re feeling. Many children don’t have the words to describe their emotions, much less understand that they’re normal and will soon pass.
It’s especially difficult to talk about behavior right when these things happen. In fact, it’s much better to discuss their behavior later, when they’ve calmed down and are more receptive to listening and learning. Trying to make a teachable moment right when they’re fighting rarely works.
And finally, another reason we’ve collected books about positive behavior is because we can’t discipline our kids when we’re at work and they’re in daycare or school. These books allow them to see the kind of behavior we expect, even if we’re not there with them.
Incorporating books that reinforce positive behavior into our bedtime routine teach these lessons. They also help kids discuss positive behavior without feeling lectured or scolded.
I’d love to share my favorite books all about reinforcing positive behavior in children:
Positive reinforcement for toddler behavior
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For young toddlers, my favorite books have been the Toddler Tools by Elizabeth Verdick. We also read several Karen Katz lift-the-flap books that our youngest still requests.
We started reading these books to our youngest before she was a year old. Even at that age, she understood the simple concepts portrayed in the books. She’ll “read” the books to herself for fun, and we often hear her repeating the phrases to her older sister!
Toddler Tools by Elizabeth Verdick
Karen Katz Manners Series
Positive reinforcement for preschoolers and young children’s behavior
For preschoolers and young children, we’ve been happy with Carol McCloud’s Fill a Bucket Series. It’s a simple concept, and you’ll often hear me ask “Was that bucket dipping or bucket filling?”
Books about managing anger
If life was as simple as just being kind to each other all the time, that would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? But sometimes kids need to figure out how to handle frustration and anger. It’s natural to want to lash out, but it’s not socially acceptable or effective.
Want even more book ideas? Join my newsletter and download my Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below—at no cost to you:
Get more tips:
- Toddler Acting Out at Daycare? What You Need to Do
- 6 Reasons to Stop Labeling Kids
- How to Stop Tattling
- What to Do when Your Child Regresses Because of New Baby Jealousy
- How to Get Kids to Do Chores (Without the Constant Reminders)
Leslie is author and creator of the blog From Play Dates to Parties where she chronicles her life in the DC/Baltimore suburbs as a busy mom of two girls. She is passionate about food, wine, design and-of course-parties, and believes that a little bit of fun can be found in even the most mundane of life’s moments.
Tell me in the comments: Have you read these books about positive reinforcement?
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