5 Essential Parenting Tips – Supernanny

child behaving badly

Tip #1 What to do when your child is behaving badly and continually wants their own way

Help your child to recognise that their bad behaviour is not acceptable. You need to follow through with your decisions and help the child to apologise for misbehaving.

Tip #2 Training your child to respect others

Teach your child to know that you are in charge and that they need to have respect. Children need to learn to share with others and it is always good to reinforce good behaviour with praise when they show respect.

Tip #3 How to avoid tantrums

Always make your expectations clear. If the child is in the habit of throwing a tantrum when it is time to leave, give adequate warning at the beginning, then half-way through the session and again when it is time to go.  Reassure them that they will come back again and always follow through.

Tip #4 How to encourage your child to take responsibility for themselves.

Always make clear what is required of the child and praise your child when the required task is completed.

Tip #5 Training a child to be compliant

Sometimes a child will misbehave on purpose, to get your attention and to get you to give in on your demands. This is when it is it is helpful to actively ignore the child until they comply. Eventually they will learn that obedience is in their best interests.

Listen to the advice of the “Supernanny” in this video…



The Importance of Early Training

Children who are not taught good manners from an early age have a very distinct social disadvantage. When sending your child to early kinder or preschool you will, as a parent, be more confident that, along with their healthy lunch, they will also be taking with them their learnt social etiquette and politeness.  

Good manners and good behaviour can be taught as young as two years, even though they may not fully understand, but it helps them to be more appreciative and aware of others and that their feelings are as important as their own.

Good manners develop into good habits that are an integral part of good behaviour.

Teaching Good Manners to young children is based on valuing others’ feelings and sensitivities while it demonstrates thoughtfulness and respect towards them. These children grow into good, well-mannered teenagers and adults.

Politeness is an expected social etiquette that should be taught at a very early age. However, it is never too late to learn good manners and politeness.  By teaching children manners early in life, politeness becomes a natural part of their everyday behaviour and speech.

Introduce polite words such as PLEASE and THANK YOU from an early age. This helps to develop an attitude of gratitude.  Even though children don’t understand these terms at first, they are practising using them.  Introduce other phrases later, such as “May I?”, “No, thank you” and “Excuse Me” to further develop good child behaviour.


GOOD MANNERS are an integral part of a child’s social behaviour development.  Learning good manners is essential to a child’s overall development and ensures that you will be raising happy children.

Good manners demonstrate respect for another individual. They help a child realise that other people’s thoughts and opinions should be listened to and their self-worth respected. Demonstrating politeness, thoughtfulness and respect develops a true sensitivity towards those with whom they come in contact, and others will respect them in return.



Basic table manners are essential along with social etiquette and good manners in today’s society and need to be taught and practised from a very early age, to become natural when socialising out with friends and family.

Children need to be taught not only good manners but table manners as well. They should be taught how to hold their spoon and fork and when chewing food, to keep their mouth closed until finished. Having good manners and good table etiquette is not talking while eating but waiting until their mouth is empty.  It’s also bad manners to put more food into their mouth when they haven’t chewed all of the previous mouth full.  Good manners is not talking whilst eating but to wait until they have finished chewing.  

Children need frequent reminders and practice at table manners.

Parents raising children need to put time and effort into teaching politeness.  Polite children with good manners are a pleasure to take out to a dinner or restaurant. When children are well mannered with good social etiquette, along with table manners, taking children to social events and activities can be much more enjoyable.  

They should make a point of teaching them table etiquette and manners so that they feel confident that their children will display good table manners and proper table etiquette when dining out… and it becomes more of an enjoyable outing for everyone.


1  Setting an example

We, so often as a society, judge people by their social behaviour and this influences people’s perceptions towards them.  Polite children with good manners exemplify good upbringing where consideration for other people and their feelings is paramount. 

Parents need to lead by example when teaching good table manners. Teaching children every day, through parents mirroring good manners themselves, demonstrates respect and sensitivity for each others’ feelings.  A respectful child will develop naturally into a well-mannered individual.  

Mirroring good manners with your children and their friends develops politeness and good behaviour.

2  Correcting your child in public

When you are out in public places with your children, it’s always good to acknowledge other friends’ children and have conversations with them. This helps them to feel included. It demonstrates politeness to your children and that they too should show politeness towards them also, and can reduce any issues of craving attention or acting up.

When they are playing with other children they will then know its important to always be polite and show they have good manners.

Correcting a child appropriately when out

Correcting your child in public in front of others should always done sensitively and having careful regard for your child’s feelings. However, it is best to do so out of earshot of others, if possible.  Never make an example of your child, but give careful consideration to the situation, your child’s feelings and to not drawing attention to the situation.

Move your child to a more private area if possible and fully explain quietly your corrections. Always speak to your child at their level, maintain eye contact, using words that they can understand.  Always ask for their acknowledgement that they understand that good behaviour is expected.  Speaking firmly but quietly often dispels any behavioural issues in children when in public.

3  Good communication

The conversation should only take a minute or two. Always remember it’s the child’s bad behaviour that you are addressing and that needs to change… not them.  Make a point of telling them that you love them very much and that good behaviour is expected.

4  Guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways

Communicating to your children in this way acknowledges that they are respected, valued and loved. Children will have a better understanding of how you expect them to behave more sensibly, and that they should endeavour to take on board and know what is expected of them in the future. This is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways.  

Politeness and demonstrating good behaviour is a skill that children need to learn from an early age.

Children need to learn to take responsibility for inappropriate bad manners. When children understand what’s expected of them, they develop their own sense of responsibility for themselves as they recognise and understand bad behaviour in themselves. Bad behaviour often comes from their frustrations, but they fail to ask for assistance.

Parents and guardians need to demonstrate and teach by example.  Avoid raising your voice as this creates tension. Children need to know that their frustrations can be overcome by expressing problems to an adult if they are finding it difficult to e.g. play a board game… and that asking for help overcomes bad behaviour very quickly.  When children learn to express their feelings and frustrations through asking for help, they take a giant leap towards becoming a person, not only with good manners, but that other people will want to be around.

Children will recognise how exhibiting good manners and good behaviour solves frustrations very quickly.

5  Deal with Interruptions

If your child interrupts you while having a conversation, quietly point out to them that it is bad manners to interrupt but you will attend to their needs when it’s appropriate.  This helps them feel noticed and recognised, but they will learn that that interrupting is not ok. It teaches them that politeness is not only having good manners, but is also being patient and waiting.

It very important that parents make sure that they follow through on their promise and don’t take too long in attending to the child as soon as they are finished.  This shows respect for the child… that they too are important.

6  Setting the Example

Developing good manners in children takes time, effort, consistency and showing by example. Practise good manners at home, always teach by example. Children will follow your consistent lead. Children need to know that good behaviour and good manners start at home and they are taken with them when they go out. If the rules are consistently applied, children learn very quickly and behavioural problems in children subside.

7  Gentle Reminders

Manners are not automatically learnt. Children need constant encouragement and direction when learning how to display manners.  Children need gentle reminders and explanations as to when and where to use these newly learnt manners and politeness.

Acquiring these newly learnt good manners takes lots of encouragement, reinforcement and practice as well as discouraging any bad manners or inappropriate table etiquette that may arise.  Consistent follow through by both parents or caregivers ensures no confusion for children.  

Learning good manners takes time and plenty of patience and reinforcement as politeness is a learnt skill and adds to their lifelong education.


Good manners start at home by parents modelling good behaviour.  Apart from setting a good example to your children, realise that you are a role model for them and you can also be their coach.

Remember that they are watching and learning from you every day. They will inevitably emulate your good behaviour, both at home, on the road and in public.  Politeness and good manners need to be demonstrated in all circumstances and will stand them in good stead for the future because having good manners is an asset.


Children respond to positive encouragement, therefore look for different ways to encourage and build them up for their good efforts.  Parents can often too quickly criticise their children for unacceptable bad behaviour, but are slow to react to good behaviour when it is warranted.  Practise encouraging children for their good manners and politeness because it reinforces good child behaviour and this builds their self-esteem.


Reward children for their good behaviour.  Praising children helps them to feel proud about themselves and valued.  Their personal feelings are given a huge boost.  Praise always creates a positive attitude.  Children will respond more easily when genuine encouragement and praise is given freely.  Praise builds confidence and self-esteem.  

At every opportunity, praise them for their good manners and good behaviour.



All of these words demonstrate respect for another.

Politeness phrases…






“MAY I?”

These words and phrases don’t come naturally, and children must be trained to see things from the perspective of the other person.  


Well-mannered children also need to demonstrate Social Manners

Social Manners children need to learn…


Guide children’s behaviour in positive ways

Teaching the importance of sharing is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways.  When children are sharing their toys and activities with others, this demonstrates kindness and thoughtfulness toward other children or adults.  It displays respect, good manners and politeness.

Sharing with others is often one of the hardest things for children to deal with, especially if another child has damaged or is likely to damage their things.  However, sharing displays politeness, respect and good behaviour.


Supporting and managing children’s behaviour can be difficult at times.  It may be difficult for children to recognise that their actions or words maybe disrespectful, rude.  However guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways is understanding that being sorry is important.  Children need to accept and recognise that their bad manners, lack of politeness or table etiquette will not be tolerated.


It’s a principle that even adults forget. Children learning politeness and good manners means learning to wait in line or wait for their turn when playing a game.  It means not interrupting when others are talking or when you’re on the phone. It’s important for parents to help their children to grasp these very important concepts and parents need to always lead by example.  Politeness and good manners are not difficult, it just needs to be taught from an early age.

Behavioural issues in children and bad behaviour can be dealt with fairly quickly if parents, guardians or teachers recognise the signs of frustration, anger or naughtiness when it first appears.  With gentle sensitivity, immediate explanation and understanding of their inner frustrations, bad behaviour can quickly revert to good behaviour and politeness in a few days or overnight.

It’s never too late to teach and encourage children to always to have good manners and demonstrate politeness.  


Read more about raising happy children


Baby to sleep

The Bedtime Challenge

Bedtime is a very important part of each day’s routine but getting your child to sleep can be frustrating for both child and parent.  Many parents regularly dread it when it’s time to put their children to bed… the struggle it can be, and it can be very confronting when being challenged by your beautiful, adorable young child who seems to object vociferously as soon as you mention the words “it’s time for bed”, no matter how tired they might be. When a child is overtired, or sleep deprived in any way, it can be very challenging for both parent and child.

The bedroom should be a positive, happy place where children love to be, a room that’s welcoming, restful and somewhere to sleep peacefully but bedtime can be a very frustrating time for many parents, as both parents and children can all be tired.  However, there are solutions to this commonly asked question… “How do I get a baby to sleep”?

To solve this common parental dilemma, we need to take a closer look at a few different aspects regarding what should happen prior to bedtime.  One of the main aspects of preparing a child for bed is your language and your tone of voice.    

Seven tips for preparing your child for bed…

Getting your child to sleep

TIP 1 The Room

A child’s bedroom should be an environment that is a warm, positive, safe place.  It needs to be inviting… where children can enjoy playing, reading or just relaxing and where they can fall asleep happily each day.

It should never be used in a negative way as a place for them to be sent to because they were rude, naughty or being punished for something.  If a child misbehaves, their bedroom is definitely not a place to be sent to.  

Tip. 2 Your Tone of Voice

A parent’s language and tone of voice around every phrase should always send positive messages, especially before the bedtime routine.

If a child is sent to their bedroom by their parent using words such as “Go to bed now” or “There are no stories tonight” or “You’re going straight to bed”, in a negative, angry tone of voice, these phrases send strong negative messages to a child around the process of going to bed, their bedroom and themselves.

Negative phrases send conflicting messages and only make a child feel confused and unhappy, especially at the end of their day when it should be a happy time of closeness and good feelings about themselves.  It can cause a lot of harm to a child’s overall self-esteem and a child’s health and wellbeing.

TIP 3. Allow Time

Don’t over-schedule your day, as children can become over-tired.  Super-busy, stressful days, packed with after-school activities can create havoc with babies, and young children. When parents are over-tired and stressed, this can lead to rushed bedtime routines and cause a child’s regular sleep pattern to be out of kilter.

TIP. 4 Have a Routine

Children love routine.  Establish a regular wind-down routine.  Children start to wind down in late afternoons as usually the day has been full of play time.  Their bodies are slowing and they can get irritable quickly.  They may not process information as easily, and life gets out of balance.

Slow-down routines such as enjoying reading books, watching limited screen time, or helping in the kitchen, help establish a child’s wind-down time as an enjoyable time of the day… for both child and parent.

TIP 5 Plan Ahead

Organise the evening meal to be eaten early, say around 5pm.  This takes forward planning. Children love to assist, helping in the preparations, if old enough.  Children are much more likely to eat food that they have helped prepare.  The evening meal should be a time when, as a family, you talk about what’s happened over the school day etc and it’s a great time to reflect on and discuss any issues that your children may be concerned about.  Children will open up on what’s bothering them if they feel valued and listened too.

Tip. 6 Have a Check List

Establish a BEDTIME ROUTINE CHART for after the evening meal… Children love routines, they look forward to it and it helps make them feel secure.

Give adequate warning time that the impending bedtime routine is approaching.  The wind-down time is needed to precede the bedtime routine so that children will cooperate and have enough time to put their activities away.  This might be 5-10 mins.  Wind-down time allows children to wind down from the activities of the day, as it’s important for them to transition the brain into their sleep-time mode.  It helps prepare the mind and body for sleep.

Headings for the Bedtime Chart…

Bath, Pyjamas, Teeth, Story Book Time, Potty or Night Diaper, Lights out or a soft night light, Singing songs, Hugs and Kisses

Tip. 7 The Surroundings

The room should be quiet and one that promotes relaxation.  The sleeping environment needs to be completely dark to promote deep sleep for a child to feel rested.  Darkened or block-out shades or blinds enable good sleep.  The ideal sleeping room temperature should be around 18 – 21 degrees Celsius or 65 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep for a baby, toddler or child.  Soft music can aid sleep, but for 5 – 10 mins only.  Children need to drift off to sleep by themselves, preferably without the aid of soft music or white noise. Children need to be able to sleep hearing the general running household noises.  Otherwise it can create a very light sleeper, lead to insomnia or difficulties in the future in not being able to get a deep sleep or have a proper sleep cycle.

It’s important that parents, during bedtime winddown times, use quiet, more soft tones of voice.  This allows little ones’ minds and bodies to settle quietly, giving them a feeling of being loved and cared for.

Read the personal story of one parent’s experience in successfully establishing a bedtime routine

Taking Your Child Out

Children at a playground

5 Tips for Taking Children Out

When taking your young children out, it is important to prepare them ahead of time.

Tip 1: Parents need to be in agreement with each other concerning the behaviour expected and rules that will apply when junior is taken out.

Tip 2: Have a special bag of interesting (different) things when visiting a restaurant or coffee shop.

Tip 3: It’s important to prepare your children for the outing. Give them a “heads up” in advance. For example say “In 10 minutes, we are going to…” or “In 5 minutes, we need to have our shoes and jacket on”.

If going to the park, say… “We are going to the park… remember…

“At the park there will be other children. You will need to take turns”

Or, if going out to dinner…

“We are going out to dinner… just a reminder that …

we sit on our bottoms etc

we use our quiet voice when talking

we remember our manners… say please and thank you”

Tip 4: If you start early, preparing your children for the outing, they will remember the rules. And always remember, to avoid upsets, consistency is key. Rules that apply at home apply out as well.

Child eating

At meal times, encourage your children to sit on chairs properly, keep mouth closed when chewing, talk quietly. Consistently applying such behaviour expectations at home will make it so much easier to apply them when taking the child out.  If children are respectful at home, they are much more likely to be respectful when out.

The same procedure can also apply to visiting friends or family and enjoying a meal together.

Tip 5: When it is time to get ready for an outing give your children warning and allow them adequate time to finish what they are playing at and allow sufficient time for them to get ready.

It’s a great thing to be able to take your children out for dinner and be confident that they will know how to behave. It makes going out much more of a special occasion, and the event will be much more enjoyable for everyone.

So, adequate preparation is key.

Remember, we as adults like pre-warnings and so do children.

Read more Helpful Parenting Tips