As is said many times, we're not given a manual when it comes to parenting. This is true but I believe we don't need one.
We have something much better instead. It's called intuition and knowledge of one's own child.
Every person in the whole world is unique and that includes babies, toddlers and young adults. Having someone else tell you what to do, is helpful sometimes but if all parents not only trusted their intuition but acted upon it too, we could throw away any 'one size fits all' instruction manual.
However, the main point here is that not everyone acts upon their intuition because sometimes it's easier to let things go rather than to confront properly. So I am not coming from an 'expert' position, rather one that says 'you are the best person to know what's best' but don't forget the basics.
Here are my 7 Steps
1) As already stated in part 1, praise and encouragement of the behaviour you do want is paramount along with rewarding only good behaviour
2) Set a good example. Children will copy anyone and everyone especially siblings and parents. Shouting, smacking, sulking etc are unattractive at any age!
3) Set clear boundaries and stick to them. Losing a battle will cost you the war. It is essential that parents are united here, so discuss with your partner and then agree to stick with them. And this means that everyone agrees to the house rules, not just the children!
4) Spend quality time with them, doing interesting and educational activities. Talk with them and make them feel interesting, showing lots of affection and praise.
5) Stick It To them! - use behaviour gold and silver stars on a chart, showing them visually how they are rewarded for good behaviour and reaching their goals. Children adore sticking a gold star onto their chart!
6) Use open questions when teaching them something, rather than keep telling them what to do. For instance 'so what's the next thing we need to do when...'
7) Keep it simple - give calm and easy instructions. Too many and you will confuse them. Too little and they will not understand. Don't overwhelm and make it interesting for them to learn, or to do as they are asked.
Add your own number 8. Something that is needed especially for your child. It could be something you have meant to do for a long time but have yet to instigate or a new idea that has come to you whilst reading this. Have a think and make a decision now to carry it through.
Trust yourself and your children.