Responding Positively to Your Child’s Behavior

Teacher sitting with child

All children misbehave or exhibit challenging behavior sometimes. How a parent responds can make a big difference in how a child develops. Treating children with kindness and respect helps them to treat others in the same way. Parents who nurture themselves and their children are teaching their child positive lifelong skills. In this brochure, find tips and tools to help parents and staff learn ways to positively respond to children's behavior.

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Parents—Help Your Child Learn Positive Behavior!

  • All children misbehave or engage in challenging behavior sometimes.
  • How you handle your child’s misbehavior can make a big difference in how your child behaves throughout her life.

Treating your child with kindness and respect will help her treat others with kindness and respect. You are modeling positive relationships.

You can take steps to teach your child positive behaviors!

Nurture Your Child and Yourself!

How to Nurture Your Child

  • Listen to your child
  • Respond to your child’s needs
  • Remain calm
  • Don’t expect your child to be perfect
  • Model appropriate behavior—including saying sorry if you need to

How to Nurture Yourself

  • Take care of yourself
  • Take a break when you need it—if your child is safe
  • Don’t expect yourself to be perfect


7 Tips and Tools

  • Try to understand your child’s behavior.
  • Validate your child’s feelings—let her know you understand.
  • Set clear expectations and encourage the behavior you want.

Help Your Child Feel Loved

  • Tell your child what you want him to do.
  • Give choices.
  • Spend time playing, reading, singing together.
  • Pay attention to your own feelings and thoughts.

Last Updated: December 30, 2019