Responding To Challenging Behavior

Children misbehave, adults get upset and angry. How can adults respond to and discipline the children so they will learn control themselves and to have positive behaviors?

The following responses are recommended by child development professionals to support young children when they are having a problem related to their behavior.

1. Make eye contact with your child.

2. Use a calm voice and a gentle touch to calm down your child.

3. If the problem is between children, place yourself between them.

4. If the problem involves a toy or object, calmly take the object from whoever has possession of it until the problem is solved.

5. If the problem is with you, use a non-threatening body language and avoid violence.

6. Remind your child of the behavior you expect for the specific situation.

7. Select the most appropriate discipline strategy according to the situation and your child’s age: time-out, loss of a privilege, ignoring, social problem solving.

8. After the situation is resolved, when you can, think about what happened, why it happened, and ways you can try to avoid this negative behavior from happening again. “What can I do differently next time?”

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