Parenting Resources

Positive Reinforcement for Toddlers

  • The best time to reinforce behavior is when children are noticed to be “doing something right.”
  • Try to pay attention to your child when she is playing quietly.  “I like seeing you playing with your blocks.”
  • Acknowledge when he acts appropriately.  “Thank you for putting your cup on the table” (instead of throwing it on the floor).  “Our dog likes it when you touch gently.”
  • Of course, there will be times when you will need to use the word, “no”, especially for safety concerns.  For more information on how to teach your child the concept of “no”, see our parenting handout at:
  • You can also try distraction and redirecting. Instead of saying “no,” offer an alternative.  For example, if your toddler is starting to climb on the coffee table, redirect her to her books or other toys, while saying, “Tables are not for climbing.  Let’s build with our blocks instead.”