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Positive Parenting: Instilling Good Habits In Toddlers

Yes, we know that toddlers can be a handful, but we can’t blame them. They are still too small and young to have learned the rules of the world yet. However, their little brains are flexible at this age, so we should mould them into good humans by teaching them good habits.


If you think it’s too early for your little one to learn good habits, let us tell you that early learning can benefit the mind in a huge way. One must start teaching toddlers good habits as soon as they are able to understand and communicate. Trust us, you’ll only be sculpting them into well-mannered and well-behaved children.

Good Habits Your Kids Must Know

1. Help Others

Help Others

Even if you don’t require a hand, you will always find your little one trying to lend you a helping hand with your chores. You must allow your child to help you and others, as it will help them build confidence and become independent. Simple and small tasks are an excellent way to start this. You can ask your child to help you with the following tasks:

  • Get the letters from the mailbox
  • Refill the toilet paper roll dispenser
  • Help with flame-less cooking
  • Hold bags or groceries
  • Feed the pet
  • Put the clothes in the washing machine

Ms Ashlesha Khare, Senior Curriculum Manager at Intellitots, says,” Helping others meets the primary needs of individuals in a society. It teaches children that they have a sense of connection and interdependence with other human beings. Learning that they are interrelated in the community helps form a sense of obligation to other people and develops the sense of caring beyond one’s family.”

2. Show Manners

Show Manners

Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully, and children must be taught to talk to others in a polite and respectful manner. Therefore, it is important that we teach children words like “excuse me,” “please,” and “thank you”.


Not only words but behaviour also plays a huge role in displaying your manners. Some of these manners are:

  • Waiting patiently for your turn
  • Speaking politely to others, even if you are frustrated
  • Maintaining eye contact when speaking to others
  • Complementing others

“Teaching manners is not just a formality. It really matters. Having good manners will teach children respect and will help others respect them. A child being polite, using the golden words and being thoughtful speaks wonders about the child’s personality,” says Ms Khare.


3. Showing Emotions

Showing Emotions

It might be difficult for children to understand other people’s emotions. But you can fill your child with compassion and empathy for others by teaching them about emotions and being conscious of other people’s feelings. You can teach your little one the following things:

  • If you see someone crying, ask them what’s wrong
  • If you see someone being shy, try to get them involved in the play
  • If you see someone who looks different from us, treat them equally
  • If you hurt someone, apologise to them

Our in-house expert, Ms Khare, says that “Helping children identify their feelings is the first step in helping them manage them. Children who are able to identify, understand, express and manage a range of feelings experience long-term benefits to their mental health and well-being”.


4. Clean Up You Mess

Clean Up You Mess

Picking up after kids all day long is not the solution to keeping your place clean. Teaching children to tidy up their space after playing is important as this helps instil essential good habits in them. Even if your child spills something over, show them how and why they must clean their own mess.

“Tidying up is a very important life skill. This helps to provide children with a sense of responsibility towards their surroundings. It teaches them to develop a positive sense of self. We must remember that the cleaning up tasks must be age appropriate and must work as positive reinforcement for the child,” points out Ms Khare.


5. Saying “YES”

Saying "YES"

Parents must reinforce positive behaviour in children. They must be taught to say “yes” more often than the word “no”. Try giving your child commands in such a way that you are more likely to get a “yes” in response from them. For example, you can say, “It’s raining outside. Do you want to play inside?” rather than saying, “It’s raining outside. Don’t go out to play.”

“Encouraging children to think for themselves and taking appropriate decisions teaches them to weigh the pros and cons and understand the consequences of their decisions. The best way to ensure that children develop a sense of confidence in themselves is by asking them the right questions so as to elicit affirmative answers from children,” suggests Ms Khare.

6. Sharing Is Caring

Sharing Is Caring

Children are often concerned with satisfying their own needs, or we can say that they are “me-focused”. Therefore, it is quite important to teach them all about sharing. As a parent, you can make your child practice sharing in the following ways:

  • Share their toys and their food with a sibling or a friend.
  • Distributing meals to the needy.
  • Play games that involve sharing.
  • Praising your child when they share.

Ms Ashlesha says that “Sharing is a critical skill that comes in handy when children play and learn with other children. It sows the seeds of empathy and helps in building the social skills required for a well-adjusted adult. The habit of sharing is developed over several years. Hence, it is never too early to start introducing the concept of ‘sharing is caring’ as early as preschool.”

7. Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

Teaching kids about taking responsibility for their actions is really important. A child may otherwise learn to lie and put the blame of their actions on others. So, teach your child that every person is responsible for their own actions, and one must own up to their mistakes.

When your child owns up to their mistakes or talks to you about what they did wrong, as a parent, you must appreciate your child for doing so and teach them what they can do to amend it.

“One of the most important lessons children need to learn early in life is to take responsibility. An individual with a well-developed sense of personal responsibility is more likely to succeed in school, at the workplace, and in society at large. After all, having a sense of responsibility is a quality which shows up in every area of life,” says Ms Khare.

Good habits can’t be taught in a day. Habits take time to develop. It will take toddlers several weeks or months of teaching before good habits come naturally to them. That’s not crazy! You have to be patient with your toddler as habits take time to form, but it’s worth the effort.

*Article reviewed by our in-house expert Ashlesha Khare, Sr. Curriculum Manager at Intellitots.



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