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Helping children with behaviour some tips for Nannies

Teaching children behaviour from 0 to 3 years involves a combination of nurturing, guidance, and consistent interactions. During this critical period of development, children are rapidly absorbing information from their environment and forming the foundation for their future behaviours. Here are some key principles and strategies to consider:



1. Modelling Behaviour:

Children learn by observing the behaviour of those around them, especially their parents and caregivers. Therefore, it's important to model the behaviour you want them to emulate. Show kindness, empathy, and positive communication in your interactions with others.

2. Consistency:

Consistency in your responses and routines provides a sense of security for children. Set clear boundaries and expectations and respond to their actions in a consistent manner. This helps them understand cause-and-effect relationships.

3.Positive Reinforcement:

Reward positive behaviours with praise. Positive reinforcement encourages children to repeat behaviours that lead to positive outcomes.

4.Redirecting: Instead of simply saying "no" to unwanted behaviours, try redirecting their attention to something more appropriate. For instance, if a child is playing with something they shouldn't, offer them a toy that's suitable.

5. Setting Realistic Expectations: Remember that children at this age are still developing self-control and understanding of the world around them. Be patient and avoid setting expectations that are beyond their developmental stage.

6. Engage in Play: Play is a powerful tool for teaching children about the world. Engage in various types of play that encourage learning, creativity, and social interaction.

7.Social Interaction: Encourage interaction with other children, family members, and peers. Social experiences help children learn about sharing, taking turns, and cooperating.

8.Emotional Support: Help children identify and express their emotions. Validate their feelings and offer comfort when needed. Teaching emotional intelligence is crucial for their social and emotional development.

9.Limit Setting: Establish clear limits to ensure safety and appropriate behaviour. For example, establish rules about not touching dangerous objects or running into the street.

10.Routine and Structure: Children thrive in a structured environment. Establish consistent routines for meals, naps, playtime, and bedtime. Predictable routines can help children feel secure and understand what's expected of them.

11.Effective Communication: While infants might not understand words fully, they do understand tone and facial expressions. As they grow, communicate clearly and simply, using age-appropriate language.

12. Encourage Independence: Provide opportunities for children to do things on their own, such as dressing themselves or picking out toys. This fosters a sense of autonomy and confidence.

13.Read and Explore: Reading to your child introduces them to language and concepts. Exploring the world through outings and sensory experiences also contributes to their development.


Remember that every child is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching behaviour. Adapt your strategies based on your child's temperament, developmental stage, and individual needs. Creating a loving, nurturing, and supportive environment is key to helping children develop positive behaviours during these formative years.


Margaret is a qualified NNEB, DET and has over 35 years working with children, as a nanny and teacher. In addition Margaret is a parent and understands that it takes time and patience, but working on behaviour will reward you, your child and the family as a whole. We hope some of the tips will be of interest. All the best :)


1 comentario


Corina Naish
Corina Naish
04 sept 2023

A great read, very well written Margaret!

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