How do I teach good behaviour?
Good behaviour doesn’t happen automatically – it’s a learned response. The good news is the process can be fun and really rewarding for both you and your little one.
- Play with your child. Let them lead, but join in the fun – your little one will love the attention!
- Be a role model. Children learn through copying, so demonstrate the behaviours you want to see more of, e.g., remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ yourself!
- Reward good behaviour with lots of praise. Children want to please, so giving extra attention encourages your child to keep it up (you can’t over-praise your child!).
- Actively listen to your child and give them your full attention. Turn off your phone, stop what you’re doing, get down to their level and make eye contact.
- Use rewards and incentives to encourage your child to learn a new skill or behaviour. We all need motivation at times!
- Be consistent. Children get confused when the rules keep changing – being allowed to play with their scooter in the kitchen one day but not the next, for example. Help them by giving clear and consistent boundaries.
- Shower your child with affection. However you prefer to do it, and in whatever ways work for you and your child, just let them know they mean the world to you.
Want more advice or support?
You can talk via online chat to our family support workers and get advice specific to your situation and your family.
We’re providing our advice for free to ensure it benefits as many parents as possible. If our advice has helped you today you can help us support children across the UK by making a donation.