Handy hints for parents

Raising children can be challenging at times. The RCIPS Family Support Unit is here to help with a few handy hints for parents to encourage and reward good behaviour.

Parenting tips

• Tell the child clearly what the good behaviour is you want to see.

• Only attempt to deal with one or two problem behaviours at a time and don’t expect miracles; expect to move forward in small steps.

• Try to notice any good behaviour, even small ones.

• Choose small rewards and give rewards each day, normally immediately following good behaviour.

• Get your child to help you choose the rewards.

• Give rewards only after the desired behaviour has been achieved.

• Reward ordinary, everyday achievements.

• Explain clearly why rewards are given.

• Have a variety of different rewards on offer.

• Let your child know that you have confidence he or she will behave well and achieve the rewards.

Rewards: inexpensive items

• Crayons, paper, pencils, colouring books.

• Surprise small bag with marbles, rubbers etc.

• Small toy e.g. car.

• Hire a child’s video of child’s choice.

• Special treat in lunch box.

• Clothing for doll or added section for toy.

• Choosing breakfast cereal.

• Special snack after nursery/school.

• These may vary depending on the child’s age.

Special treats at home

• Using telephone.

• Dressing up in parent’s clothes.

• Having a friend for tea, or overnight.

• Choice of TV programmes.

• Making play dough.

• Making cake with parent.

• Growing seeds.

Special treats outside home

• Staying with friends or family.

• Trip to park/beach etc.

• Going to the movies.

• Riding bike in safe area.

Special treats with parents

• Extra bedtime story.

• Help plan the day’s activities.

• Doing puzzle/craft activities.

• Extra playtime with parent.

• Watching favourite TV programme with parents.


• Praise your child when he or she is being good; don’t wait for perfect behaviour.

• Praising is not going to spoil a child.

• Difficult children need more frequent praise.

• Tell your child very clearly why you are praising.

• Vary the words you use.

• Praise should only follow good behaviour.

• Be enthusiastic and give good eye contact when you praise.

• Give praise immediately after good behaviour.

• When praising a young child, give cuddles, pats and kisses etc.

• Praise children in front of adults and other children

Resources available

‘Parenting can at times be a real struggle for some people and we want to let people know that assistance and advice is available,’ says Detective Sergeant Doris Morris, of the Family support Unit.

‘Parents should be vigilant with their child’s activities when they are away from home and we strongly urge all parents or guardians to leave the child in the care/supervision of a responsible adult at all times.

‘Parents should also remember that it is their responsibility to monitor their child’s accessibility to internet and cell phones.’

For more information on how to get help with coping with parenthood contact the Family Support Unit on 946-9185 and the Department of Children and Family Services at 949-0290.