How much does my child understand about being naughty? (6 to 30 months) 

Health visitor Gemma Crisp explains whether your child understands about being naughty, and what you can do to get him to co-operate.

Find out more about dealing with difficult behaviour.

Transcript of How much does my child understand about being naughty? (6 to 30 months)

How much does my child understand about being naughty?   Gemma: “Children don't understand this adult concept of naughtiness and they're not doing it deliberately to be naughty.   Often it's about exploration of the world around them. It's really important that small children grow up and feel good about themselves, so it's really helpful if you can separate for them that there are things that they do that you like or dislike, rather than it's them that you like or dislike.   Children respond really well to positive praise from their parents.   It's much more effective to concentrate and praise them when they're playing nicely. So if you see them being good, and are pleased with their behaviour, then it's helpful to be specific with them.   So talking to them even before they understand is really helpful so that they can start to learn and develop their sense of right and wrong.   Children need their parents to be consistent with them, in terms of how you manage their behaviour.   They need to be able to learn that if something happens then it's managed in a certain way, so that they feel safe, and they're able to learn from that.

  It's helpful if other people who have spent a lot of time with your little one uses those same strategies to manage those behaviours, so that the child can really understand what's going on and how they're expected to behave.”    

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Dealing with children's problem behaviour

Advice for parents on difficult behaviour in toddlers and young children, including temper tantrums