Understanding and guiding children’s behaviours a big focus for LPBD conference
Sector > Quality > Professional development > Understanding and guiding children’s behaviours a big focus for LPBD conference

Understanding and guiding children’s behaviours a big focus for LPBD conference

by Freya Lucas

September 20, 2019

With just under a month to go until educators from the Northern Territory and beyond converge for the Little People, Big Dreams (LPBD) Conference, organisers Child Australia and the Northern Territory Government are pleased to showcase the work of Dr Louise Porter.


Dr Porter is a child psychologist and author with more than 35 years’ experience consulting with parents and practitioners about children’s developmental, social or emotional challenges. Currently working with Goodstart Early Learning, Dr Porter is supporting educators and teachers to employ best practice when responding to children’s behaviours.


Dr Porter’s keynote, Understanding and Guiding Children’s Behaviours, will compare and contrast two distinct styles of working with children to encourage positive behaviour in early childhood education and care (ECEC) environments. 


Style one seeks to control children’s behaviour through discipline, using rewards to incentivise children to practice a certain behaviour, and punishment to stop undesired behaviours. An example may be a stamp on the hand of a child who was a “good listener”, or a sticker chart for a child who is able to successfully use the toilet that day. 

Style two, a guidance approach, believes that children want to do well, and want to be successful, taking the position that “children do well when they can.” A guidance approach to behaviour notes that when a child is making behavioural mistakes – such as yelling over the top of an educator in a group time situation – it is not because they lack incentives to behave better, but because they lack skills – the main one being the ability to regulate their feelings and impulses. 


In her keynote session, Dr Porter will outline an approach that gives children information about their successes (acknowledgement) and, when their behaviour is disruptive, supports the children to get back in control of themselves so that they can return to considerate behaviour.


During a follow up workshop, Understanding and Guiding Children’s Behaviours: Practical Strategies for Educators, Dr Porter will extend on her keynote by giving educators and leaders practical tips and suggestions to use in their own education settings. 


“On the basis that you cannot reason with people when they are being unreasonable, and neither can you give a drowning person swimming lessons, when children have become emotionally overwhelmed in these ways, our task is not to explain (yet again) how they should be behaving.” Dr Porter said. 


“They already know this, because we have explained it to them in the past. If we had told them a similar number of times where we had hidden some lollies, they would remember that piece of information; therefore, they can equally remember how they should be acting when they have been told previously.”


What’s the alternative then? To find out, book in to see Dr Porter’s keynote, amongst the many other inspirational speakers, at the Little People, Big Dreams Conference, to be held in Darwin on 19 October. 


To learn more about the Conference, or to secure your place, visit the Conference website


Limited places remain, with free tickets available for those operating Outside School Hours Care services in the Northern Territory. 

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