Reinforce positive behavior by teaching kids how to express their emotions. One of the best ways is to read children’s books about their behaviors.
Reading has always been a priority for our family. Our first child was in the NICU for her first three weeks. Even though it may seem strange, 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 often not in the frame of mind to discuss how they’re feeling. Especially right when these things happen.
And since our kids have spent time in daycare, we’re not there to discipline at the worst moments either.
Incorporating books that reinforce positive behavior into our bedtime routine teach these lessons. They also help us discuss what the kids learn at school each day without feeling lectured or scolded.
Books that reinforce positive behavior in toddlers
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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 seemed to comprehend the simple concepts portrayed. 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
Books that reinforce positive behavior in preschoolers and young children
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?”
If life was as simple as just being kind to each other all the time, that would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? But the reality is sometimes our 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.
Those books don’t come out often, but we think it’s important to have an open discussion about it.
Want to read with your kids, but not sure which books to start with? Download my FREE Read Aloud Book List! You’ll get hundreds of favorite selections to read aloud with your kids. Get it below:
Leslie is author and creator of the blog Pampers, Play Dates & 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.
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