Day 3 – Praise and Reward Day
Praise day is my favorite day! Today's goal is to be super attentive to any of the desired character traits that your child shows. Don’t make it weird, but be intentional and evident with your praise.
Communicate Your Expectations
Start your day off by stating your expectations for the day. Stick to your one warning rule from Day 2. Your child should be responding better when you use the character trait verbiage to redirect them.
Smile and Relax
Today is designed to be much more fun than yesterday. I would suggest planning to be a “yes mom” on Day 3. Pick your battles throughout the day. You’re trying to find that balance where your kids can recognize that you have a positive attitude and ensure that they are reacting to your warnings and redirection.
You must be around your child in order to correct them and praise them. They should sense that you are spending more quality time with them because they’ve put in the work to correct their bad behavior. Make a point to highlight this to them. We want to stress that being good is so much more rewarding than days spent in a reset!
If your child asks for something reasonable, don't push them off because you're tired or busy. You shouldn't be busy on Day 3. It would be best if you still were hyper-focused to complete this boot camp and today is the most important.
Your children will not be perfect – but guess what – neither are we. Have some grace but continue to be firm. After having two days of tough parenting they typically start to recognize the benefit of good behavior when Day 3 is drastically more pleasant than Days 1 and 2. I documented one of our Praise and Reward Days here. Here are some examples:
Please note, rewards do not have to be toys or treats. As you can see in the examples above, giving your child a choice, letting them do a fun activity, and promising to spend time with them are all valid options! Remember, children crave attention. They do not care if it is good or bad attention. Use this day to help them see the significance of the difference.
As you can see there are multiple areas where you can provide praise, and sometimes the simplest rewards are the most fun for them to earn. Remain vigilant with your corrections, but also make sure to communicate all of the praise and rewards that you can. At the end of the day recap all of the fun things you did today, and tell them how proud you are of their behavior!
When children are consistently displaying behaviors that you do not approve of, it's time to implement a boot camp for correcting bad behavior. Using the three specific days (Correction Day, Communication Day, and the Praise and Reward Day), you can successfully correct their misbehavior in a short period of time. You need to be prepared before you start, and also be very vigilant to ensure that you stick to the plan no matter what those crazy kids throw at you. Remember, you are using 3 days to change a behavioral issue, and those 3 days will be intense. Put in the work and you will reap the rewards!
Do not be leery if that behavior starts to creep back in. Some children will take a couple boot camps if they have an extreme behavior issue. Take note that each time should be less intense, and continue to work on your character traits with your child. Bodie and I are on our second boot camp for the same issue. His initial reset for the second boot camp was 45 minutes – that's half the time of the first! Stay calm and patient!