Far too many parents have been raised on the notion that the only way that you can influence your child’s behavior is to punish them when they do something bad. And while this can be an effective means of administering some discipline, you should never forget the fact that it is only half of the equation. After all, a child who is raised with nothing but punishments may end up assuming that such is the only kind of attention that they can ever receive from an authority figure. And that is definitely not the kind of lesson that you want a young person to learn, especially because it ought not to be true in the first place. Attention has got to be balanced appropriately between the positive and the negative, based upon what the child has actually earned.
When a child only knows about being punished for when they do something wrong, they are going to get a lesson (which is not right) that basically says, “the only way that you can get attention reliably is to do something that they do not like or that is wrong.” While pop psychologists will forever argue amongst themselves over whether or not this is enough to grow an ordinary child into an adult criminal, the implication is that the more you essentially encourage bad behavior, the more you are going to get of it from them.
However, you can always reward good behavior, through giving your child things that they like when they do things that you like. The examples are numerous, such as paying them an allowance (with a bonus if they do an especially good job for a time), or taking them out for a treat of some sort when they get especially good grades. The unfortunate truth is, it will always be far easier to punish the bad than it is to reward the good. Just try to make the best effort you can.