There are many strategies in which we can manage children’s behaviour and guide them to show positive behaviour. Most settings will have a behaviour policy as a clear direction as part of the behaviour policy there will also be procedures. These are the practical details of what staff should do in any given situation for example what to do if a child swears. All children need to know boundaries, rules and expectations. Some of these may be set for social reasons such as ‘not interrupting, when someone is speaking’ others for safety reasons such as staying in designated play area at break time.
Encouraging children to modify their unwanted behaviour must be supported by the inevitability of a consequence. In other words, good behaviour always needs to be noticed and rewarded and the same is true for poor behaviour. Rewarding positive behaviour is important as it encourages good behaviour and helps children become integrated into society. It’s important to choose wisely what behaviour to reward. Good behaviour can simply mean that the child is doing what they are supposed to be doing, not necessarily something exceptional. There are various types of rewards. They need to be relevant to the age and stage of the child. In my setting we have a points system. Children are rewarded for good behaviour with points for example if they work quietly to finish their work and have their area tidy books away. At the end of the week children are rewarded with extra playtime if they’ve the most points.
Verbal praise is still the most effective form of reward as it is instant, well received and builds self-esteem and confidence in the child. It’s important to never ignore bad behaviour, if you ignore unacceptable behaviour such as disruption in class or bullying, then you are letting the children know that this is acceptable to behave in this way. It’s