Promoting Positive Behaviour – Ages and Stages Chart

  What behaviour should we expect from our little ones at the different ages and stages of their development? Each child is a little individual but here are some general guidelines that may help you to promote positive behaviour as your child grows.

Age Normal behaviour What parents can do
Under 1 year of age
 Cries to make needs known.

·Gets into everything.

·Learns by touch, taste, smell, sight and sound.

·Let your baby learn to self-soothe. Comforting your baby when he is sick, hurt or upset―rather than ignoring or brushing off the feeling―will help him learn how to do this.

·Say no when your baby does something you don’t want him to, like biting you.

Don’t use techniques such as time-out or consequences.

Young toddler
1 to 2 years
·Is starting to test limits as she explores her independence.

·May be fearful when separating from you.

Will learn to say no.

·Curious and wants to explore.

·Too young to remember rules.

Create a safe environment that your child can explore.

Give your child attention when she is being good

·Use redirection, with a brief  explanation (“No—hot.”).

Older toddler
2 to 3 years
·Is becoming more independent.

·Becomes frustrated when you set limits, and will show it.

·Becomes very possessive, doesn’t understand the concept of “mine” versus “someone else’s.”

·Is easily distracted.

·Some frustration is good  because it helps your child  start to learn how to  problem-solve. But,  remember, there are  situations your child won’t be able to handle.

·Give choices when you can – “Which coat, blue or red?”.

Explain briefly why the  behaviour is unacceptable.

3 to 5 years
·Should be able to better accept  limits, but won’t always make good decisions.

·Tries to please and wants to  feel important.

·Can follow simple instructions.

·Can make choices.

·Asks a lot of questions.


Tries to tell other children what  to do.

·May tell on others.

 Needs clear and consistent  rules.

Set an example through your own actions.

Small and appropriate  consequences also work.

·Approval and praise will  encourage your child to do  good things.

·Long lectures do not work.



©Lifestart Foundation 2018











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