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Challenging behaviors

No matter the age of the child, behaviors are always needs that are not being met. Our children are truly not trying to push our buttons or challenge us, they simply do not have the ability to express their needs effectively. 

Before moving on to any solutions, a child must know that you recognize how they are feeling and feel validated. Then you can move onto a solution. For young children, we tend to set limits first. How many times have we said, “Stop that” “Get down” or my favorite, “Why are you acting this way?”  The best way to handle behaviors, is to practice before they happen. It is nearly impossible to test out a new strategy when your child is lying in a heap at Walmart. When you practice, it will become easier. 

  1. Acknowledge how your child is feeling first. 
  2. Then, you can state the limit that needs to be set. 
  3. Ask your child to help find a solution. 
  4. If they can’t find one, give them a couple of choices that you can live with. 
  5. Discipline is not always required. Sometimes a simple redirect can do the trick. For toddlers, discipline as we think of it, isn’t really age appropriate. Unless a child is old enough to understand that they have caused harm, discipline will be ineffective. For older children, the discipline must fit the behavior to be effective. For instance, a rude comment may require an apology and perhaps a loss of screen time for a preset time. Whereas, not turning in a homework assignment, may require the loss of phone privileges for a preset time. 
  6. Rules should be consistent and so should discipline.  

For more ideas, check out the links below. Take some time to watch the FLIP-it strategy for Parents, below. It is described above and it is a game-changer!

How Parents Can Reduce Children’s Challenging Behaviors.

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