It is important to remember that most behaviour that adults call ‘naughty’ in toddlers is part of normal development. You should know that all toddlers test limits, try to be independent, get into everything, get mad, and throw tantrums. You can check with other parents of toddlers to realise they just can’t help themselves and you are not alone in this situation. However, a positive and constructive approach usually helps to guide children’s behaviour.
Following practical tips can be helpful for you to put this positive approach into action.
Tips for good behaviour
- Be a role model
With your behaviour you can guide your child. Children watch you get clues on how to behave, which is more important than what you say.
- Show your child how you feel
Tell your child how his/ her behaviour affects you. This way, children understand their feelings.
- Tell your child that he/ she is being ‘good’
When your child is behaving in a way you like, let them know by some positive feedback.
- Get down to your child’s level
When you try to be of your child’s level, you can understand what they might be feeling or thinking.
- Listen actively
When you are listening actively, you can nod as your child talks and repeat back what you think your child is feeling. When you listen to children actively, it can help children in coping with tension and big emotions like frustration, which sometimes cause unwanted behaviour.
- Keep promises
When you keep your promises, your child learns to trust and respect you. He/ she also learns that you won’t let them down when you’ve promised something nice.
- Keep things simple and positive
Giving clear instructions in simple words help your child to know what’s expected e.g., ‘Please hold my hand while crossing the road’. Positive rules are usually better than negative rules as they help in positively guiding your child’s behaviour. E.g., ‘Please shut the door is better than ‘Don’t leave the door open’.
- Say it once and move on
If you tell your child what to do, again and again, they might not like it. If you want your child to cooperate, just remind them once of the consequences of not cooperating.
- Make your child feel important
Let your child help you with some simple choresor things that they can do. This will make them feel important. And if you praise your child for their behaviour and effort, it’ll help in building their self-esteem.
- Maintain a sense of humour
Keeping daily life with children light is often helpful. This can be done by songs, jokes, and fun.
- Encouraging better behaviour A practical guide to positive parenting[Internet]. Available at: https://resourcecentre.savethechildren.net/node/1360/pdf/1360.pdf. Accessed on Oct 20, 2020.
- Encouraging good behaviour: 15 tips[Internet]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/behaviour/encouraging-good-behaviour/good-behaviour-tips. Accessed on Aug 31, 2020.