Children do not learn behavior in a vacuum any more than they grow up in one. Your child wants nothing more than experience to success-and success teaches. By prearranging conditions that will lead to good behavior, you will be able to provide him with the positive reinforcement that is the best teacher of all.
Start by examining your child’s environment to determine whether there is anything in it that is causing him to misbehave, and then make the necessary changes. If, for example, your two year old frequently fiddles with your radio, remove it from his reach on the table and place it on a shelf. You can then use the radio to satisfy his curiosity and to teach a lesson.
Tell your youngster he can turn it on for a special program each day, under your supervision, and take the opportunity to show him how the various buttons and knobs of the radio work.
Again, with a little forethought you can keep your child out of mischief by creating the kind of busy atmosphere in which good behavior grows. Fill his day with constructive activities of many different kinds, planning them carefully and perhaps even drawing up a handy list that you can refer to.
There will be a big benefit to you and in this-you will be relieved of the frustration that can grow out of your wish to get on with your work and your need to divert your child. You will want him within view, of course, so place his books and toys where you can keep an eye on him.
Children love having things to do as much as adults, but since they have shorter attention span, it is always a good idea to suggest a switch to something new whenever you see your youngster starting to grow restless. You can use different activities to distract him at critical moments.
Bringing out his books when he is tired of playing with his blocks may be just the diversion the child needs in order to keep his boredom from turning into mischief.