Top 3 Behaviour Management Strategies


1. Reward Good Behaviours Immediately.

Children don’t have the concept of time, but have a great understanding of cause and effect. So don’t wait! Give praise immediately when your child does something good. This may be as simple as paying attention to your child when they are playing happily by themselves. Often we tend to ignore them when they are playing independently, but run to them when they cry or have a tantrum. This innately rewards children with your attention when they are screaming and they quickly learn that to get mum to come to me NOW, I just have to scream and cry. The louder I cry the faster she runs!

2. Be Firm in Discouraging Negative Behaviours.

Use a firm voice and say “Stop” while putting your hand up in a stop sign, when you want your child to stop doing a negative behavior. Negative behaviours may include climbing dangerously onto furniture, screaming tantrums, or simply just ignoring your instructions. Remove your child from the area if you need to, so that they are safe. Screaming at them or becoming upset with them only escalates the tension and makes it harder to calm the child. Often children are surprised at your calmness and the firmness of your voice, and will stop what they are doing.

3. Use a Task Board.Children do better with structure and when they understand the rules.

So use a task board with pictures of each activity you need them to perform in sequence. For example, pictures of breakfast, brush teeth, dress up, get into car for school. In physiotherapy, we would use pictures of each activity, so that the child understands that there is an end to the tasks. They get to remove each picture or tick the tasks when they have completed each one. This gives them a sense of achievement, and there is no need to negotiate about what needs to be done.