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Catching kids doing good things

Updated on July 13, 2011

Catching a child doing kind things

The phrase “catching a child doing kind things” How often do we catch a child doing well? More often than not we catch children doing naughty things and point it out to them. What if by catching a child doing good things it would start to cut down on some of the bad behavior that children get the negative attention for.

What exactly is the concept of catching a child doing good things?

The concept is making it a point daily to acknowledge when our children do an act of kindness, do what they are told to do on the first try, help a little bug to crawl out of the house, brush their teeth, smile and laugh instead of cry, play nice with their sibling, this list can go on and on but mainly the best way to catch a child doing good is with the thing that you usually catch them being bad for.


Catching a child doing good deeds

The psychology behind is quite simple; they are getting positive reinforcement when they are doing well, even for the small things, so that positive energy that they are getting feels good and they are going to want more of it.  The way that they get more of it is by doing more good things, listening better, playing with friends or sibling better, whatever it may be that they need work on. Let’s say that your child stalls at bedtime or bruising their teeth. For example one night they brush their teeth without you having to ask them to do it, this would be a good time to say “great job” or let them know that you noticed that they brushed their teeth without you asking them to do it. That is the time when catching them being good is going to have the biggest impact on the behavior, because those are the things that they usually get caught at for being bad.

Children by nature want to please, and get positive attention from adults in their lives, especially their parents but also teachers, care givers, grandparents. When children see that they are getting great positive feedback for doing well or notice that they did what you wanted them to without asking them to do it, then they will certainly want to do more of that. The concept is so simple but not used as often as it should be used.

The wonderful thing about catching a child doing kind things is that we can also catch our spouse doing well, or our own parents, friends and so forth. The next time that you see your child doing something good, make it a point to let them know that you are watching and give them an extra hug, great big smile, a wink of your eye, or a simply I am proud of you for what you just did. However you choose to acknowledge it just remember to acknowledge it.


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    • dawnM profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Michael 

      7 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      Thank you jpcmc for the comment :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      True, when we recognize good behavior it is more likel;y to be repeated. Children love being noticed. So why not do it when they do something good. Great one dawnM.

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      8 years ago from Westerville

      Oh my what truth it is. If we only stop to think of all the do this do that's we toss about we have a great deal of catching up to do. :)

    • dawnM profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Michael 

      8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      thank-you carole, treasuresbybrenda and christianflectcher for your comments and so rue!

    • christinafletcher profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      too true. great post!

    • TreasuresByBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Definitely need to pay attention to the good things ~ more than we pay attention to the not-so-good things.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great one and so right on. something for all of us to practice everyday. The improvement will become apparent in a very short time when this is consistently done.

    • dawnM profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Michael 

      8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      Oh akirchner, I feel two kids with ADHD of my own and they are a challenge but brilliant kids, and I do my best everyday to catch them doing good and they love it! I like you, can get caught up in the little things but it does not work and at the end of the day they are upset with themselves and as a parent I feel like I failed, so I try to catch them doing good things everyday!

      Thanks De Greek, I really wrote this from the bottom of my heart!

      Hi Mentalist acer nice to her from you and thank you for the comment!

      Rodlphe, thank-you for visitng my hub and commenting, do come back!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Having raised a child with ADD, your advice is right on. It became so easy to remember everything he did incorrectly or wasn't supposed to do that we finally started listening to ourselves....don't do that, don't do that either, no, no, no. It really is a much better attitude to try and pick out things that ANYONE does that are good and that you like as BJ said - and once we concentrated on what he was doing WELL, that was a positive thing!

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      8 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Positive rienforcement creates a positive result,a beautiful sentiment DawnM;)

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      What a clever girl you are. And how right you are. I love the idea of "give a dog a GOOD name" ... This is a wonderful article.

    • profile image

      Rodolphe Cote 

      8 years ago

      This article is a real eye opener. I think I will also start using that method on my grown up children also. Its too bad we parents tend to be so negative about our children. A negative approach is always harmful, while a positive comment may affect and help you for the rest of your life. Thans for your article

    • dawnM profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Michael 

      8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      Thank-you Kathryn for reading and commenting on my article.

      Hi drbj and yes this can be used in amy relationship with positive results.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      And this positive reinforcement works not just in relationships with children, but with employees, customers, other family members and EVERYONE you meet. Thanks, Dawn for reminding us.

    • kathryn1000 profile image


      8 years ago from London

      I love that.It made me feel better to know someone wrote this.


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