So we're trying to raise our kids. We look and see them doing something, something wrong and our first inclination is to stop them from doing what they're doing. Granted that's often a good idea unless it's your only method of correcting wrong behavior. When the child is about to do something that could be harmful to him or someone else stopping them is the best thing.
But, if all your child hears is "don't do this", "don't do that" then all they're being given as a picture of right behavior is a negative.
Do you know what a negative looks like? Some people who have only been around digital photography might not know what a negative looks like. It's the exact opposite of a picture. It's what's left of the ink after the picture has taken the ink it needs. It's a reverse image. No matter how you explain it a negative is not easy to comprehend. It's difficult to look at a negative image and get an idea of what was really being shot.
To show your child the actual type of behavior they should try to go after you need to show them a positive. What does that mean? Tell them what to do more than you tell them what not to do. Paint a verbal picture for them that is desirable, something they want to do.
I was giving my two little girls some instructions this morning. We were on our way to meet with an old college friend I hadn't seen in over a decade. When I set the appointment Nancy was going to be able to watch the girls, but that changed. She had to work. So here I go with my two little pretties in tow.
"Now, Oli & Jules(Olivia & JuliAnna) how should you act when we're at the lunch?"
"Good." they responded.
"If you sit quietly at the table, that will be a blessing, so I can talk to my friend."
"Do you know that if you do something bad that could be embarassing to you or to Dad?"
"Also, if you do something bad they might think Barlows are bad. You don't want that do you?"
"Also, if you do something mean they might think Christians are mean. You don't want that do you?"
"We represent God, our family and ourselves. Especially God. Let's show other people how good God is."
Now granted there was some negative in that talk, but I was trying to win her heart toward what I was saying. These things did minister to Olivia, 5, more than Jules, 2. Their behavior during lunch was really wonderful and my buddy and I had a great time catching up with each other as the girls sat quietly and listened.
There are ways to paint the picture positive and win their hearts and help them desire good rather than to just shun evil.
I hope this helps.