While it can be difficult to handle a child’s challenging behavior, communication is always key. Everyone in the home or family should be aware of the situation in order to best understand how to support and help the child, in addition to understanding how they can individually contribute. Some examples of challenging behaviors could be: a child hurting themselves or others, biting, repetitive destructive behavior, etc.

Remember: communication is key! Here are some things parents can do to change these behaviors:

Communicate with your child's preschool or daycare teachers. Give teachers your insight on what challenging behaviors you've observed your child doing and see if they are noticing the same things. A great tool is to keep a record of the behavior, such as a journal or photographic observations. Not only does this serve as a learning tool for teachers, but you can also measure how often the behavior may occur. By recording observations for about a week you are able to learn more about the specific behavior, such as what brings it on. For example, you may notice that challenging behaviors occur at the same time each day, or when your child is hungry, tired, or upset.

Communicate with the school principal or center director. Explaining the challenging behavior issues your child is having in the classroom will help nurture your relationship with the school staff and build trust. The principal/director may be able to assist in a different way that hasn’t yet been brought to your attention.

If you're a teacher, here's a tip on dealing with challenging behavior:

Communicate with parents about the observed behavior. Talking to parents about the problem behavior you've observed helps you better understand the child. Ask questions like:

"Is this behavior also happening outside of the classroom or school center?"
"If so, when does it typically happen?"
"How often does it happen?"
"Does something trigger the behavior, and if so why?"
"Does it happen at home? If so when, and how often?"


Source: Managing Challenging Behavior in Young Children Using Positive Behavior Support, by Steven Bonnay, RECE

Topics: development, play

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