Knowing good from bad

Encourage good behaviour by giving feedback to your child. Explain the difference between good and bad behaviour, tell your child what you like and use praise and encouragement to reward good behaviour.

Your toddler is learning social cues and acceptable behaviour from you and the people around them, so it is important that you explain how your feel.

  • If they hurt you, say ‘ouch’.
  • Use ‘I’ statements, for example, ‘I don’t like it when you pull my hair’, to encourage empathy.
Tell the truth

You should lead by example and teach your child the value of honesty, rather than punish their untruths.

Be clear, specific and reasonable with instructions so your child understands exactly what is expected of them. By explaining consequences, your child will have a better understanding of the world.

Remember, your attention is a reward for your child, so avoid giving attention as a result of bad behaviour.

Image a child sits looking sad, parents can help guide their children

Published — 30 August 2016 Last updated — 14 November 2016

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?

MotherFatherGrandmotherGrandfatherCarer/Guardian

What best describes your location?

Metro
Regional
Remote

If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?

Metro
Regional
Remote

And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.
Go