Preschooler Behavior Tips

Read these 5 Preschooler Behavior Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Preschool tips and hundreds of other topics.

Preschooler Behavior Tips has been rated 4.6 out of 5 based on 12 ratings and 1 user reviews.


Sharing can be a difficult concept for your preschooler, especially if she has had negative experiences from a lack of adequate supervision at preschool or daycare, or also if your preschooler just hasn't really had to share anything up until now. Give your preschooler enough opportunities to practice and plenty of examples to learn from and soon he will be sharing successfully.

Begin by asking and requiring that your preschooler share with YOU. This is where you teach him how to take turns and you can explain how great it feels when he offers you one of his toys. Next, move on to scheduling playdates. Determine which toys should be available for your child's friend to play with, and explain to your child that he will have to share those toys. Put away or hide from sight any special or favorite toys. Be sure to take an active role in the sharing process by explaining to both your child and the other child the rules about taking turns and not grabbing.

It won't happen overnight, but hopefully after a few playdates your preschooler will begin to get the idea. Soon he will be happy to give up a toy to make a new friend.


Temper Tantrums

Every preschooler has temper tantrums, some more often than others. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, anxiety, embarassment, frustration, and anger. First, let's discuss preventing them.

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. Which means you know what types of responses and behaviors will set him off. For example, if you're stuck in line at the post office, and it's getting close to lunch time, you can expect your child to start whining or complaining about how hungry he is getting. Planning ahead by bringing a small snack can help delay the onset of a full-blown temper tantrum.

Prevent the next tantrum by not giving in to the first one! Once you give in or change your mind, your child suddenly realizes that no doesn't always mean no. So the next time you say no when he asks for something at the store or a friend's house, you can expect the tears to start rolling.

Give a five minute warning. How do you feel when you're in the middle of surfing the internet or watching a movie and the power goes out? Hey, what happened?! Be considerate of your child and let him know that you will be leaving the park or his friend's house in 5 minutes. That way it's not so unexpected and he has a chance to finish playing or say goodbye.

Sometimes you will not be able to prevent the tantrum and it will often occur at the most inconvenient of places. Here are some tips for dealing with a temper tantrum.

Let your child have the tantrum. This is easiest if you are at home. Move your child to his room or a safe place, shut the door, and let him scream and cry and get it all out. Tantrums are often the result of your child's frustration and the inability to express himself. He will usually feel much better once he has had a chance to vent some of those pent-up feelings. Once the screaming is over, you can usually have a good discussion.

If you are not at home, you may try to lessen the tantrum by talking to your child. Whatever you do, don't give in to your child's demands! That will only make the next tantrum so much worse. If he is crying because he wants a toy at the checkout line in the store, you can tell him that if he obeys or completes a chore at home, then next time you will buy the toy. Usually out of sight, out of mind works best - so get that toy out of sight or try distracting your child before he even sees it. If your approach to reasoning fails, remove your child from the situation and let him cry elsewhere until he calms down.

Always try to keep your cool. Don't let your child's tantrum get the best of you. Understand that this will soon pass, and try to make the best of the situation. Sometimes the best hugs come after temper tantrums!


Teaching Good Manners

Teaching good manners to preschoolers may seem like a daunting task. After all, it seems as if their natural inclination is to be insensitive, inconsiderate, and self-centered. However teaching kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, and common courtesy will help your preschooler get along better with classmates, teachers, and family members. These important life skills will help your child become more aware of others and less selfish. By learning what is socially acceptable and responsible behavior, your preschooler will be more confident in his interactions with adults and his peers.
Begin with the following manners and advance as your child grows and matures.
1. Saying “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Excuse me”
2. Giving and accepting compliments
3. Taking turns
4. Being a good sport
5. Doing favors
6. Not interrupting
7. Making and accepting apologies
8. Sharing
9. Waiting in line
10. Table manners

Keep in mind that you cannot simply tell your preschooler what to say or how to act. You must model good manners yourself, and encourage consistency and repetition. Lavish on the praise and give rewards for any attempts at remembering to use proper manners. Good manners won’t happen overnight, but with enough practice and positive reinforcement, they will eventually become automatic.


Successful Playdates

Now that your child has entered the preschool years, playdates provide a great way for her to sharpen her social skills and learn proper play etiquette (i.e. sharing and taking turns). Up until now, most toddlers do what is called parallel play, where they may play side-by-side, but not necessarily with each other. Your preschooler may be much more interested in interacting, and what better way than a supervised meet and greet at your house? To ensure the best possible outcome, be prepared by following the tips presented below.

  • Limit playdates to one child at a time, that way each child can get to know the other one-on-one.

  • Limit play time to 1-2 hours, and choose a time of day in which your preschooler won’t likely be hungry or tired.

  • For the first few playdates together, consider inviting the other child’s parents to join in the fun. That will help their child be more at ease, and hopefully eliminate any potential tears or anxiety.

  • Stock up with snacks and juice. Also, be sure to inquire if the other child has any food allergies and what his favorite snacks might be.

  • Plan an activity or two. Your preschoolers may be very happy to play with toys together, but it’s a good idea to have something planned that they can both participate in. Some suggestions include: arts and crafts, baking cookies, planting a garden, or playing a board game.

  • Limit TV and computer use. Playdates are all about social interaction and it’s very hard to interact if both kids are staring at a screen. Take a walk together outside if the children seem to be getting bored.

  • Prevent squabbles over toys by hiding your preschooler’s favorites. Encourage each child to share and try to let them work it out on their own before intervening.

  • Conflicts are common at this age, but if you notice it escalating to a verbal or physical confrontation, be prepared to step in immediately. Explain that that kind of behavior is not tolerated in your house, and offer a solution or a compromise to the issue. If they cannot agree on a resolution, some time apart may be needed, or change activities.

  • Don’t wait until the end of the playdate to clean up. It’s hard to ask a preschooler to clean up if his parents are at the door, but if you time it just before snacks, you may have better luck.

  • End the playdate on a happy note by giving fair warning (5 minutes) and consider sending the child home with a goody bag that includes any artwork created together as a small memento.



Forget all the "new-age" parenting advice and go with the tried-and-true discipline techniques.

Up to 2 years: Your child is still learning your language. This means that he or she might not understand what you are saying or comprehend that there will be a consequence. The best discipline at this age is to say, "NO!" in a firm voice with a frown on your face and remove the child from the situation, or redirect him to something more appropriate.

2-3 years: By this time your child shoud understand what you are saying, however he will exercise his independence by choosing not to obey. If you ignore this behavior, you can expect your child to continue to obey only when he feels like it or only if you will reward him in some way. You must be consistent in your response. When he chooses not to obey, you can try putting him in time-out or sending him to his room for 2-3 minutes. For more serious infractions, he may need a small spank on his bare bottom. Always hug him afterwards and explain the reason for the spanking. Never spank in anger.

3-4 years: You can continue to use time-outs and spanking for this age, but now you may also include removing privileges (no TV, iPad, etc.) or sending him to bed early.

4-5 years: Removing privileges, early bedtime, and adding extra chores can be an effective discipine at this age. Save spankings as a last resort for the most serious of infractions (lying, disrespect, defiance).

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Preschool Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Susan Sayour