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Self-Discipline and Behaviour Management

Our children's behaviour affects our everyday lives and in some cases where we go and what we do. It's essential that you are confident and able to manage your child's behaviour effectively to avoid any problems. There are a variety of strategies to consider depending on the personality and behaviour displayed by your child. All children are individuals and it is important to consider carefully which strategy is most appropriate and works best for your child.

Sticker Charts

Praise and Self-Esteem

Sticker Charts

Reward or Star charts are an ideal way to promote and encourage good behaviour both at home and at school. They can be used with children during their early years and time in primary school and are an instant response parents and carers can give to promote and reward good behaviour.

Stickers can be used to encourage individual children and subsequently others to repeat desired behaviours. Using sticker charts contributes to the development of your child's self esteem and often has a positive affect on both their social and academic achievements. You may find that as a result of rewarding your child with a sticker for good behaviour that you build up a strong relationship with them, where they want to do the right thing and please others.

Sticker charts are now widely available and you as a parent or carer can decide how you wish to use them at home. Perhaps once your child has a certain number of stickers you may acknowledge this through a special reward such as a new book, game, or special trip. This will help motivate your child to repeat the desired good behaviour which earned them the stickers and then subsequently a further reward.

It is essential that all adults at home involved with your child's everyday routines are aware of the use of the sticker chart and how to implement it successfully i.e. your partner, the childminder, the grandparents etc. It is vital that once your child has been rewarded with a sticker for a positive action or behaviour that this is not then taken away for any negative behaviour which may follow. Instead, you should aim to focus on reinforcing all the positive actions and behaviour your child displays. By doing so your child will learn what is appropriate and what is not. Remember, once a reward is given it should not be taken back!

Displaying your child's sticker chart in an accessible place is best, perhaps on the family notice board, or fridge door, where both you and your child can discuss the positive behaviour and use it as an incentive when problem behaviour is displayed. Try and ensure it is at the child's height so your child can be fully involved with selecting and counting their own stickers.  If the sticker chart is easy to access and see, you are more likely to use it and reward positive behaviour on a regular basis.

Sticker charts are seen by some as the most successful way of improving a child's behaviour with more immediate results. Try and choose sticker charts and stickers which appeal to your child's favourite cartoon or story book characters, so they feel motivated to get involved with the reward scheme. Sticker charts are often used to promote positive behaviour, but can also act as rewards for concentration and effort in other tasks and activities. Sticker systems, do, however need careful planning and management if they are to be successful. Over use of sticker charts as with any other reward scheme can lead to the child not valuing the reward so it is vital both parents decide on how often and when to award stickers.


Most children respond well to praise and encouragement. If you praise your child when they behave well they are more likely to repeat this behaviour. For example, if your child is kind to a sibling and they receive praise for their actions, then they are more likely to repeat this action again. On the other hand, if your child behaves in a way which is unacceptable and you ignore the behaviour and concentrate on a positive action they are in most cases unlikely to repeat the inappropriate behaviour. By focusing on your child's positive behaviour and ignoring negative actions they will learn that by behaving properly they experience positive language and praise. 

In some cases where the inappropriate behaviour is severe, or could have consequences, ignoring the unacceptable behaviour may not be an option. In these circumstances, it is best to sit with your child and talk through their behaviour and why they behaved in this way. Ensure that you explain that it is your child's behaviour that has made you upset and unhappy and not them.  Take time to listen to your child and explain why such behaviour is inappropriate. After discussing the inappropriate behaviour with your child, try and praise them for something positive they do soon afterwards. It is important to keep your child in a positive state of mind and try not to be overly negative even when telling a child off. Always separate the behaviour from the child, so they know you still love and care for them but disapprove of their actions.

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