Promoting positive behaviour

The key to promoting positive behaviour in children is to form positive relationships with them.

There are many ways to do this, including communicating with respect and sincerity, and providing activities to encourage positive interaction. Read more about this in Modelling positive relationships in the Resources section.

Offering children a suggestion of what they should be doing, rather than what they shouldn’t be doing, will give them a clear message of what you require of their behaviour.

For example, instead of saying

'Don’t run inside'

We could say

'Please walk inside'

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Turn these negative instructions into positive ones by wording them as what you’d like the child to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do.

In your notebook, write each negative instruction and then write your own positive instruction for each one next to it.

Don’t throw the sand
Don’t shout
Don’t hit
Don’t go up the slide
Stop dragging your bag
Don’t tilt your plate
Don’t leave that there

Clear expectations

It is far easier to guide a child positively in the first place than to have to implement behaviour management strategies after an issue arises. Remember, prevention is better than cure!

You can read more about limit setting and guiding children’s behaviour in Limits and guidelines

You should familiarise yourself with your centre’s behaviour management policies and procedures. Centres will have differing strategies that will be outlined in their policies, although all should be of a positive nature. These will guide you in your workplace. You can read more about this in Creating a Behaviour Management Plan.

We shouldn’t limit our guiding interactions to when a child is doing something undesirable, but rather constantly recognise what children are doing well. Positive reinforcement when children are behaving respectfully and appropriately will encourage these desired behaviours to continue.

Additional information icon

Have a look at the Cybertots’ Guiding children’s behaviour policy on the Cybertots Intranet.