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Preventing Misbehavior

It is often said, the best way to handle a problem is to prevent the problem. This is true in managing misbehavior in young children. True we can use our time and energy playing firefighter and run around dousing one blaze after another; but understanding why children misbehave can help prevent many problems from the start.

Possible Cause
Child wants to be independent

Ways to Prevent
Give child a change to do for themselves and give them simple choices. Example: "Do you want to put the books away or pick up the legos?"

Possible Cause
Child has a lack of language skills

Ways to Prevent
Remind child to use words. You may even suggest words for them to use. Example: "Josh when you're mad say, 'stop that makes me mad' instead of hitting.

Possible Cause
Child has a lack of impulse control

Ways to Prevent
Help children to think through their actions. Example: "What do you think will happen if you throw that block?"

Possible Cause
Child is easily frustrated

Ways to Prevent
Break tasks into smaller parts. Provide for opportunties for child to feel successful and competent.

Possible Cause
Child is unfamiliar with limits or forgets the rules often

Ways to Prevent
Set simple and clear rules. State the reason for a rule when reinforcing. Prompt the child to recall a rule or limit. Example: " Tammy, can you tell my why you are not to put playdoh in the fish tank?"

Learn More: Enroll in the Positive Discipline Online Class

Copyright 2004 ~Joni Levine