When fostering older children I have found it really helps to sit down with them and
develop some basic household rules for behaviour. I believe that it is
important to tell the children not only what behaviours are unacceptable, but also why
they are unacceptable. Follow this link to review an example chart of Rules for Household Behaviour, which I drew up with the children
during one placement.
It's also works well to develop a reward chart with the children when you are trying to address specific, undesireable behaviours. Follow this link to review an example of a Behaviour Reward Menu.
I've also used some alternative techniques quite successfully, with children who can write. Together we have drawn up posters, on butcher's paper, with a description of "Things I do well", "Things I could improve" on either side of the page.
I get the children to tell me what their strengths are, and then their weaknesses. We do one of each, and then begin again. They write them on the poster paper and later add illustrations, and we post this up somewhere we can see it. It's a daily reminder of the good things about ourselves, and what we want to improve. (I do my own poster, but let the kids tell me what to put on each side - so far I need to improve my drawing skills - too true!!! - and try not to growl at the kids when they are "bad"! It's a really fun way to deal with problems and the kids enjoy the positive attention!).