She is a good teacher = satisfactory in quality or quantity.
It is good that you are here = right, proper.
He did a good deed = kind, generous.
They have a good name = honorable or worthy.
Her credit is good = financially sound.
He was a good man = morally excellent.
She demonstrated good judgment = sound or valid.
Fresh fruit is good for you = healthy, beneficial.
I have good news = favourable
The meat is still good after three months in the freezer = edible.
I am in good spirits = cheerful, optimistic.
She is a good friend of mine = close or intimate.
I am good at arithmetic = competent or skillful.
It’s a good day for fishing = advantageous.
He has good manners = socially adept.
I wore my good suit to the wedding = best or most dressy.
We stock canned goods = articles of trade.
She will come to no good = end in failure.
I am leaving, this time for good = finally and permanently.
I could go on with examples but I am pretty sure that you get my drift. Telling a child to “be good” is not an effective manner of guiding their behaviour as good has so many meanings, many of them are completely variable, and our interpretations of them are inconsistent, ie. what I think is good might be completely different to what you think is good.
So, instead of telling your child to “be good,” provide them with a specific instruction regarding what you are expecting from them behaviourally, given the situation you are entering. For example,
“When Elsie comes to play we share the playdough with her.”
“We use our walking feet inside.”
It may take a bit more thought and some practise to get into the habit of being more specific about your expectations but I can assure you that it will be a whole lot more effective than telling your child to just “be good.”
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Tammy James says
miss carly says
I am forever trying to pull out the children's theories and ideas behind why they created each piece of work.
I tend to use a Rule of Threes with my elder kids (6.5 and nearly 5) - ie. "We are going into the supermarket now. When we are there, I'd like you to stay with the trolley, use your quiet talking voice, and help me by choosing the fruit and vegetables." Or "Here we are at the park! While we are here, I would like you to stay where I can see you, wait patiently for your turn when other children are using the swings, and help me to amuse the baby on the play equipment".
I always throw in one task-oriented thing that they enjoy (and that actually helps me!) as it makes it less of a lecture in my mind, and aids with my objective of developing their own skills and abilities. And I think three things is possible for kids to remember, but more is harder. Too many rules / restrictions is just setting yourself up for failure & frustration.
Great article and reminder (I even forget sometimes)
Zoey @ Good Goog says
Maggie Macaulay says
Amber, The Unlikely Mama says
Shaun Hoyle says
Olga Bloch says
Jamie @ hands on : as we grow says
Kate Lloyd says