Promoting positive behaviour is integral to our behaviour management policy at Emirates British Nursery. It is normal for young children to present behavioural challenges at different times, but it is extremely important that we manage this in an appropriate way. Rewarding desired behaviours through praise and positivity, whilst focusing less on negative behaviour is highly effective. Setting clear, age-appropriate expectations with children is a key first step. In this article, we will go through our top early childhood behaviour management strategies that will help you promote healthy and positive behaviours in your child.
Structure and consistency
We believe that ensuring consistency when outlining and reinforcing behavioural expectations with your child is essential. Children respond well to clear boundaries and if your child is doing something which they know they shouldn’t but are not made aware of this, it will be difficult to expect them not to do it again. When outlining age-appropriate behavioural expectations, make sure you are as consistent as possible. This structure and consistency is something which we implement and practice daily at Emirates British Nursery.
Depending on the age of your child, giving them the opportunity to set behaviour expectations with you will mean that they are more likely to stick to the agreement. Explain and model what appropriate and inappropriate behaviour looks like. Should your child consistently display the opposite behaviour to something you have agreed upon together, you can remind them that this is their rule that they are breaking.
Praise, praise, praise!
Positive reinforcement is key. When your child exemplifies the desired behaviour, reward them with lots of praise so that they clearly understand that they are displaying great behaviour. Celebrate their positive behaviour as much as possible. You may also wish to reward them with more play time, or with something meaningful which motivates them. Adopting this positive approach to behaviour at home really promotes and reinforces our philosophy here at Emirates British Nursery.
If your child has made a bad behavioural choice, give them a moment to reflect. Ask them if they could have made a better choice and how. Clearly communicate why certain behaviour may be deemed as a bad choice and explain your expectations clearly. For example, “you need to tidy your play area so that someone doesn’t trip on a toy and hurt themselves.” Simply telling your child not to do something without any context or explanation makes it more difficult for them to understand and learn from the experience. Always do this with positivity and gently redirect your child. Using visual cues to explain positive and negative behaviour is also helpful for young children.
Separate the child from their behaviour. When reinforcing expectations, explain that they did not make a good choice, rather than saying, “you are not being good.” Letting children know that they always have choices gives them a greater sense of ownership over their behaviour.
Patience and persistence
Sometimes your child will get it wrong and that’s okay. There is an extensive list of expected behaviours for children when we step back and actually think about it. It certainly takes time and patience, and they need the space and support to make mistakes.
Encouraging and promoting healthy habits at home will lead to happier children and this will be reflected in their behaviour. Check out our tips for developing healthy routines for young children.
Be a role model
We pride ourselves in our practice here at Emirates British Nursery by always modelling positive behaviour and being the best example that we can possibly be to our children. Once you have set out clear expectations with your child, reinforce these expectations by modelling them every day. How you act at home will of course have an impact on your child’s behaviour and attitude.
Our nurseries in Dubai provide the ideal environment for children to develop positive behavioural habits alongside their peers in a supportive and nurturing manner. These early childhood behaviour management strategies will help you to set out clear expectations for your child’s behaviour while positively celebrating and reinforcing their daily successes.