Promoting good behavior in children

Parents and caregivers want their children to portray good behavior that they can be proud of. Parenting strategies can encourage children to be good. Giving children the guidance and education needed can encourage good behavior, and instill a positive energy to allow them to grow into happy well-rounded individuals.

Here is a look at how to encourage good behavior in children:

Model good behavior

It is imperative to be a good model to set the example. Children are at the stage where they are building their character and personality. It is important during these years to encourage good behavior by conveying how to behave in a good and acceptable way. Children are observational learners who absorb information from their parents. The environment needs to be positive and the right standards set to encourage good behavior.

Practice positive parenting

Children need to feel positive and have good self-esteem. It is important to build on their confidence and self-worth to encourage good behavior. Give praise and acknowledge when they show good behavior and for their efforts. Focusing on the positives gives them a good feeling and improves their self-belief. Children that are praised for the good are more likely to want to try to be good for that positive reinforcement.


To encourage good behavior, discipline needs to be enforced. It is crucial to set boundaries and rules, and consequences for unwanted behavior. It is essential for children to have boundaries in order to be able to learn right from wrong. They need to know what isn’t acceptable and the reasons for why. Carry out the discipline and explain the reasons firmly and concisely, and leave it there. State “This behavior is unacceptable” and give reasons why.

When to discipline

Children need balance, as life is all about learning, and not everything can be perfect. Focus more on the positives and less on the negatives. Too many negatives can be damaging to a child’s development, and it can cause them to behave disorderly more often. Children that feel like they are always bad are not likely to try to be good, as they come to believe that they are bad. Choose battles carefully, and decide when it is appropriate to enforce discipline.

Quality time

Set aside some quality one-on-one time, as this is essential for children’s health and happiness. Children need to feel important and accepted and they crave the attention of their parents. Giving undivided attention on a regular basis and showing an interest can give them a sense of security and boost their happiness. Children that feel loved and cared for are more likely to model good behavior.


Children need to be able to express their feelings and share their thoughts. It can be very frustrating for them if no one is listening. Take time to get down to their level and give them undivided attention, and listen attentively. What they want to talk about may seem unimportant, however, for them, it is important. Children feel respected and valued when they are able to share and communicate their thoughts and feelings. This can help them relieve tension, or share positives.

Understand feelings and emotions

Children are well behaved, however, like adults they also have emotions and feelings, too. Sometimes they can feel angry, upset or frustrated, and they are going to convey these feelings. Understand that this is perfectly natural and it shouldn’t be seen as bad behavior. If they are crying or shouting there is always a reason as to why. Allow them to release their tension and talk to them calmly to find out what is causing them to feel this way, and this can avoid meltdowns.

No matter what the temperament of a child, it is always possible to encourage good behavior. Children need to be acknowledged for their efforts and good behavior, no matter how small. Giving praise encourages good behavior whilst boosting confidence and self-belief. Children need to feel that they are good, to be able to be good. However, discipline is also essential for establishing good behavior. It may take a little more effort and patience with some, however, it is essential to encourage good behavior to ensure children grow into model citizens.