2. Distraction. You are visiting with friends, and your child is playing with something very breakable. Skip the "don'ts". Just pick him up, whisk him elsewhere, and as you do, tell him a story or fasten his attention on something else in the room.
He's not eating? Distract him with a game of "the airplanes are coming in for a landing!" Each "airplane" is a spoonful of food that you zoom in circles through the air and then "land" in his mouth.
3. Explanation. Explanations for little guys work best when they are formatted as short, brief mantras, rather than lengthy paragraphs. "No balls in the house. Balls are for throwing outside." Or, "Sisters are not for punching; they're for playing with."
Be sure when you state the rule that you end with the should do. The part children remember most is the last part, so give the "don't" first and then, conclude with the "do."
4. Appreciation. Someone once coined the phrase, "Catch them doing it right." If children have helped to pick up their toys, comment on how nicely they are learning to sort and store. If they have carried their plate to the sink after dinner, say, "Wow! You are helping out like a big boy. I'm so impressed!" Train Your Pet, Motivate Your Kids
Remember, whatever you focus on, you'll get more of.
In sum ... Parenting is a skilled activity; technique matters. Learn techniques for getting children to do what you want them to do and to cease doing what you don't want. Parenting will feel far easier and more joyful, and your kids will most likely turn out to be confident, positive additions to your life.
One last tip that's key to raising a happy and emotionally healthy family. Learn cooperative partnering skills so you'll be a great parenting team. Marriage education classes are held in most communities. You can even get marriage ed communication skills courses online as in my own online program PowerOfTwoMarriage.com. If the home in which your kids grow up radiates sunshine between the adults, your kids will have the strongest launch possible into successful adulthood.