Behavior Management Strategies for Children

by Eliza Martinez

All children misbehave at some point, some more than others. No matter how often your child gets into trouble, managing his behavior with proven strategies is an effective way to get him to do what you want him to do. For severe behavioral issues, working with a therapist might be beneficial, notes the Pratt Center, a professional psychology corporation. Behavior modification is also useful with children who suffer from ADHD, anxiety or autism.


Children thrive on routines because an ordered and typical day offers comfort and routine. Havoc and upheaval can cause your child to act out because he's nervous, upset or surprised. Creating a routine eliminates this from happening and can keep your child calm and well-behaved, notes the Pratt Center. Of course, things happen and your routine might get thrown off at times, but stick to it as much as possible for the most benefit.

Parental Involvement

Parents play a key role in their child's development, which includes his behavior. Modeling desired behaviors is ideal for getting your child to follow suit. Kids are imitators and often do what those around them are doing. So, if you want your child to eat with a fork and chew with his mouth closed, show him how to do this by doing it yourself. Spending time with your child is another important way to get him to behave, according to The Successful Parent website. Quality time to play or go on outings helps a child feel loved and understood, which helps manage how he behaves. Just make sure your time together doesn't involve talks about previous bad behavior.


Much like routines, consistent rules and consequences are vital to managing a child's behavior. If you tell your child not to call his sister names, but let it slide sometimes, he's getting the message that he can get away with it on occasion. Instead, your rules and the punishments for them must stay the same, advises the Pratt Center. If your child throws his food, remove his plate immediately. He'll quickly learn that if he wants to eat, he better keep his meal from flying across the kitchen. For an older child who texts a friend after lights out, remove his cell phone privileges for a day or two.


The State Government of Victoria's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development recommends using positive behavior management techniques because they reward desirable behaviors and improve the chance that you'll see them again. If your child cleans his room the first time you ask, he gets to go to the park or to see a movie with a friend. If he walks away when his brother slugs him instead of hitting back, praise his restraint and encourage him to keep up the good work. Kids naturally want to please their parents, so positive behavior management is a valuable way to get your children to behave.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images