This would drive me crazy, except it's totally developmentally appropriate. So I'm being totally child-centered and adjusting to his needs as best as I can. And I'm taking you along for the ride. In what I've dubbed The Discipline Weekly, each Friday I'll feature some quick and easy technique that's been working for me and helping me through this
First up, the very basic: positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement works wonders! I can't stress that enough.
But here's the trick, don't just compliment the kid by saying, "Good job" and "I'm so proud of you." That can get kind of tired, especially when it comes off as phony or insincere.
Compliment the action, and not just the actor. Try to be as specific as possible. For instance, you can say, "I really like the way you said 'please and thank-you'" or "I see you worked really hard at remembering to put your toys back where they belong, good job!"
Bottom line: find something good that your kid did and praise the heck out of that action. And you will surely see more of that particular behavior because they want to please you.
If you don't catch them doing that particular behavior, believe you me, they'll point it out for you by saying, "Mommy, look at me! I'm doing [insert desired behavior here]!"
If you have the energy to consistently do this, I guarantee you this will work wonders in your household... or your money back. Oh wait, you're not paying for this awesomeness.
But really, there have been many times that I was too tired to do anything else and I turned to my fallback plan -- positive reinforcement. And in that moment, if I could have kissed the person who came up with this, I would have.
Try it out and let me know how it works in the comments!