Verbally acknowledge children’s efforts. Tell your child/student(s) specifically what he/she did that you are proud of. For example, you can say “You were so focused on your math homework tonight! Keep up the good work,” “That was so nice the way you helped your brother with his math homework.” When children get praised for doing the right thing, they want to do more of it. Virtually all children want to please adults (whether they show it or not) so for most children, praise makes a positive impact. Praise is also an easy way to give your child attention which many children so desperately crave.
Use positive body language to show approval for positive behavior. Positive body language can include a smile, thumbs up, high-five, pat on the back, etc. Keep in mind that some children do not like to be touched and would respond better to something like a thumbs up than a pat on the back. Get to know your child/students to know what they like.
Use humor with your child/student(s). Make jokes, listen to their jokes, smile often, say something silly, sing something you would normally say, or anything else that would make them smile/laugh (make sure it is age appropriate).