How to encourage positive behaviour in young children; a short guide


Children often learn behaviours through watching, listening and talking to adults. This is also how they develop their moral code and their values – from what they observe of how adults treat each other. Therefore, it is imperative that as their carer, you are modelling positive behaviours around children in your care.

It is easy to notice bad or negative behaviour and to admonish these behaviours in children. When it comes to encouraging positive behaviour, it is equally important to notice and praise these behaviours as this encourages the child to behave positively more often. Encouraging and praising positive behaviour is a technique many childcare professionals use to manage behaviours.

One method is by using stars or sticker charts, for younger children, as rewards for when chores are completed. Rewards can also be used for older children, for example a weekly allowance, and it may be beneficial to open up a conversation with older children in order to give them a feeling of control and responsibility.

You can also use yourself as a role model for your child. What you do is often more important than what you say, as children will watch you and model your actions, so ensure that you act and speak the way you would expect your children to behave and they will likely follow suit.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access all manners of developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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