Child Behavior

Parenting Newborns
Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored.  Children want and need attention from their parents.  Those who learn that bad behavior is not tolerated and that good behavior is rewarded are learning skills that will last them a lifetime.  Children at every age exhibit embarrassing or frustrating behaviors: whining, tantrums, bathroom talk, swearing, or bossiness.  At times they may behave inappropriately to get something they want or to avoid something they don’t want to do and,  are also more likely to imitate behavior that results in a positive consequence.  They consistently model someone whom they value or look up to.  What is normal behavior for a child.  What can I do to change my child’s behavior.  What are some good ways to reward my child.  What else can I do to help my child behave well.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement programs should begin at the level at which children can succeed and be positively reinforced.  Positive reinforcement should follow immediately after good behavior.  Use rewards and positive attitudes to manage behavior.  However, Positive Behavior Support (PBS) can provide a new way of looking at, thinking about, and solving difficult situations caused by challenging behavior.  Although punishment can stop a child’s behavior immediately, it doesn’t teach new skills that replace the problem behavior with more appropriate, positive behavior.  When a Parent teaches a child to behave with an appropriate replacement behavior and positive reinforcement, the child is learning something rather than simply learning not to do something because of a consequence.  Parents that start with positive behavioral support often won’t need to use or will rarely need to use consequences.  Being more effectively gentle and positive with your child doesn’t mean being spineless.  However, clear and consistent negative consequences for undesirable behaviors always make them decrease, while clear and consistent positive consequences for desirable behaviors make them increase.  Create a safe and healthy environment that would positively affect the child’s behavior.


All too often, I think that what eventually happens is that the Parent comes to believe that the child can’t control very much of their behavior and the Parent accepts too much as they stop trying to discipline the child at all for fear that the child’s “symptoms” will become worse.  A goal should be to reduce or eliminate any discipline of your child.  “Most child development experts now support the concept of positive discipline — discipline without negative put-downs, harsh criticism or physical punishment.  To begin with, understanding behavior is the key to discipline.

Disciplining your child is really just teaching him or her to choose good behaviors.  Along with your rules develop a “guide” for punishment like teachers use in school.  Parents just need to figure out what their child is trying to tell them and teach them a more appropriate way to say it.  Positive behavior support is all about teaching a replacement behavior or an appropriate alternative that a child can engage in to replace the inappropriate behavior.