Desired Behaviors in Children

Children come in all shapes, sizes and flavors 3. Their temperaments also tend to vary, where some kids display more kindness and respectfulness than others. Desired behaviors, such as being generous and helpful, can be taught to all children regardless of their individual temperaments. Getting your child to demonstrate a desired behavior requires time, understanding of your child's individuality and modeling this behavior in your own life.

Respectful Behavior

Adults the world over love it when children use the phrases, "Please" and "Thank you" in daily life. Respectful children value gifts and other forms of kindness, and don't take these items and acts for granted. Parents are the first teachers of respectful behavior to children, indicating that disrespectful parents are sure to raise children who don't show appreciation for gifts, and who don't ask for things with respect for other people. Modeling respectful behavior for your child reinforces the importance of respect for himself and others at all times.

Kindness and Generosity

If your child is kind and generous, she should be able to make lots of friends at school and maintain good relationships with siblings in the home. Kids who display kindness and generosity also demonstrate compassion for others and the ability to think of not only their own but others' needs as well. Demonstrating this behavior early in life prepares kids to work well with others in professional environments, and actively participate in philanthropic efforts.


Children who practice responsibility early in life become responsible adults who are accountable for their actions and take care of their obligations 3. Responsible children complete their chores, do their homework before watching TV or going outside to play and strive to "do the right thing" most --if not all -- of the time 3. This is a desired behavior because it allows parents to trust their children and give them more responsibilities, such as driving privileges and freedom to spend the night with friends.


Honesty is a desired behavior that builds trust and teaches accountability to children. Honest children understand that they may receive a consequence for telling their parents about their involvement in an inappropriate act, but they choose to tell their parents that they engaged in the act anyway. Honest children are also less likely to engage in other inappropriate behaviors, such as stealing and cheating on tests. The best way to teach your child to be honest is to encourage open, non-judgmental communication, and to consistently model this behavior.

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