10 Parenting Practices to Stop (don’t worry, I’ve done them too)

The Parenting Junkie says DON’T solve child behavior with these 10 parenting practices. These are all common, mainstream parenting practices to stop and why not time out and the reason why not spank. Rooted in the teachings of Alfie Kohn and his book called Punished by Rewards, you’ll get new insight on why mindful parenting is the gateway to connection. The problem with mainstream parenting is that it doesn’t start with the question of how to raise an empathic child. Instead of behavior modification, teaching empathy to kids has long lasting impact. Teaching mindfulness to children informs you why not label kids and the problem with reward systems for kids. So if you wonder what’s wrong with behavior charts, don’t compare your child and get some tips from Dr Laura Markham while you’re at it.

My Thoughts on these Mainstream Parenting Practices:
1. Physical Punishments / Spanking [1:13]
2. Threatening [3:34]
3. Time Outs [4:38]
4. Punishments vs Consequences [6:00]
5. Bribes [8:12]
6. Shaming [9:55]
7. Reward Systems & Sticker Charts [12:02]
8. Comparisons [13:33]
9. Yelling [16:15]
10. Begging, Guilting & Pleading [16:49] & the Whole Point of Peaceful Parenting


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Does Punishment Work?

Physical Punishment is Ineffective and Harmful

Effective discipline does not involve physical punishment of children.

Recent studies have shown a direct link between physical punishment and several negative developmental outcomes for children including physical injury, increased aggression, antisocial behavior, difficulty adjusting as an adult and a higher tolerance towards violence.

Research has also shown that physical punishment poses a risk to the safety and development of children.

It is crucial for parents to gain an awareness of other approaches to discipline because it is all too simple for physical punishment to turn into child abuse and result in severe physical injury, detrimental emotional damage and even death.

Each year thousands of children continue to die as a result of physical abuse.

Children have a right to be protected from physical abuse, and laws in every state demand severe punishment for those found guilty of physically harming a child.

Most parents do not want to use physical punishment as a form of discipline.

A child that lives in an abusive environment is likely to grow up and either be abusive themselves or have severe social, emotional, physical and cognitive delays in development.

Parents’ disciplinary methods serve as strong models to children that teach them how to deal with life’s day-to-day challenges.

It is important for parents to model appropriate behavior and to establish expectations as well as limits.

Children have a right to live in a safe, secure and nurturing environment, and their dignity must be respected.

Parents must consistently use fair and logical consequences whenever children fail to follow rules.

They must keep in mind that a child is not a miniature adult, but only a child and that discipline must be age appropriate and fit the child’s temperament and maturity.

Adults who recognize they have a problem with physically abusing their children should immediately seek professional help and ensure their children are taken to a safe environment to avoid harming them further.

Punishment actually does work to shape different behaviors in children.

What you want to use punishment for is to guide your child towards a more positive, acceptable means of behavior.

I like to think of punishment and discipline and consequences as something that goes hand-in-hand.

Parents often ask me,

“What type of punishment should I use for this specific situation?”

I always remind parents that punishment needs to be something that’s realistic.

And it needs to be a situation or a consequence that really fits the negative behavior.

For instance, if a child breaks something in the home, a punishment or consequence may be to take time away from your child’s computer time and fix the particular thing that they broke, so that there’s actually a connection between the negative behavior and something positive.

Punishment should never be punitive.


It should be something that’s used as a teaching situation.

I often want to remind parents too that punishment, discipline and consequences aren’t the only ways to shape behavior.

But before you even get to a consequence, you may want to try praise and encouragement when your child is doing something positive..

As found on Youtube


LONDON — The government of Wales (UK) has a question for parents: Is it ever right to physically punish your children?

It began a 12-week feedback process on the issue on Tuesday, with officials saying they hoped to join more than 50 countries that have adopted an outright ban on the practice.

They would also be following the example of Scotland, which announced plans for a ban after a consultation of its own last summer.

“We all want to give our children the best start in life,” said Huw Irranca-Davies, the Welsh minister for children and social care, and a father of three boys.

“Children do not come with an instruction manual and sometimes parents need guidance and support to help them raise healthy and happy children.”

Some opposition to a ban has already gathered.

A group called Be Reasonable, named after an exemption in current assault laws for “reasonable punishment” of children by parents, says it has more than 1,500 names on a petition against the proposal, in a nation of a little over 3 million people.

“A little gentle slap here and there is just a part of teaching discipline,” a Be Reasonable campaigner, Angie Robins, a mother of three from Newport, in southeast Wales, said in a telephone interview.

“It never did anyone any harm.”

The campaigners argue that the law already protects children from abuse and that the authorities should focus on enforcing those laws instead of wasting time on trivial cases and criminalizing “good parents.”

“Every child is different and needs different types of discipline,” Mrs. Robins argued, adding that such decisions should be made by the parent and not the government.

But Welsh government officials say physical punishment is outdated and ineffective, and can have negative long-term effects.

“If there is any potential risk of harm to a child, then it is our obligation as a government to take action,” Mr. Irranca-Davies said.

Sarah Lewis, a nanny of two children in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, said a ban was crucial to protect children because every parent or guardian had a different understanding of what “reasonable” punishment meant.

“I’ve seen parents publicly beat their children when they are misbehaving. and it’s outright abusive and damaging,” Mrs. Lewis said. “You can discipline a child without smacking them.”

Britain’s leading children’s charity, the N.S.P.C.C., welcomed Wales’s move.

The charity has long campaigned for children to have the same protection against assault as adults, an N.S.P.C.C. spokesman said, describing it as “a  common-sense move, which is about fairness and equality for children.”

Mr. Irranca-Davies said the consultation would help the government address concerns as the legislation develops.



Temper Tantrums – Conscious Discipline Skills

No matter how hard parents may try to offer a patient, caring attitude when handling toddler behavior, some children are more prone to acting out.

Temper tantrums are a staple of toddler hood and more often than not, they escalate into full-blown meltdowns.

Fortunately, there are many ways to not only avoid tantrums, but to deal with them effectively.

Knowing a few tried-and-true methods will help both parents and kids adjust accordingly when a meltdown is near.

The first step in understanding temper tantrums is why they occur in the first place.

Tantrums are common in both boys and girls between the ages of 1 and 3.

Although frustrating, meltdowns are a normal part of development.

They serve as a way of venting anger, especially since toddlers have little control over their actions and feelings.

The added difficulty of not being able to communicate makes toddlers more tantrum-prone.

Furthermore, toddlers are challenging the world around them and pushing their independence.

This creates power struggles between children and adults; another element that leads to meltdowns.

It can be difficult for toddlers to recognize that they can’t have everything their way.

Of course, it’s not realistic to give in to a child’s every desire.

Anticipate tantrums by looking for the warning signs such as whimpering, whining or tension.

When these behaviors begin to surface, take action by distracting and redirecting the toddler.

For example, if the child becomes frustrated when building with blocks, distract him or her by pointing out a new activity.

Instead of building a tower let’s say, offer to paint with the toddler.

Although these tactics don’t always offer an immediate solution, they are worth a try.

Another effective method for avoiding the onset of a tantrum is to identify with the child’s feelings.

When a toddler feels understood, he or she is less likely to act out.

Use simple words and express how the child may be feeling.

Try something like, “I see that you are mad that your block tower fell down.

Let’s try to build one together.”

Also use a calming, matter-of-fact tone that will reassure the toddler.

Sometimes, tantrums are imminent no matter how hard an adult may try.

To make matters worse, they often occur in situations where the child is over-stimulated, tired or hungry.

The first defense is to ignore the behavior. This means no eye contact, no words and no reactions.

Make sure that the child is in a safe area and if not, move him or her to an area that is, with no sharp objects or glass.

If out in public, remove the child from the situation and show that the behavior will not be tolerated.

When the toddler sees that his or her outbursts aren’t getting attention, they will soon stop or decrease.

Be sure to remain calm during the tantrum, as yelling or screaming only worsens the behavior.

Once children expand their language skills, generally around the age of 3, tantrums become a thing of the past.

Tips To Dealing With Kids’ Tantrums

Being a parent, there are several things that you will experience as you deal with growing kids.

Among the many things that you will need to deal with a growing a child are tantrums.

When your kids reach the toddler stage, throwing tantrums are only natural for them.

Although it can be annoying, there are ways in which you can deal with it to ease the stress.
As your toddler start to throw a tantrum, you may have sudden impulses on how to handle the situation.

However, most of these impulses will not yield positive results.

Here are seven ways on how to deal with tantrums from your kids:
Keep your cool at all times. Even if you’re about to explode, always keep your cool in front of your kid.

This is all a part of your child growing up experience, and is only natural.

Try to be patient, disciplined and practice self restraint.

You want to teach these positive values to your kid. If you react with anger to your kid while they’re having a tantrum, you’re only teaching them violence.

They will see violence as the right way to handle problems or other issues.

Never give in to their request.

Toddlers often throw temper tantrums when they want something, but couldn’t have it.

If you give in to their request or try to bribe them to calm down by giving what they want, you are opening the possibility of your toddler throwing more tantrums in the future.

Never give in to what they want and show them that they will not get it if they act this way.

Ignore public opinions. What if your child throws a tantrum while you’re in the mall because you won’t buy them that toy?

If this happens, most parents concern themselves about what others people may think and will try to give in to calm the child down.

However, if you really want to be a responsible parent, ignore what other people may think, most parents who have undergone the same situation will even show sympathy to your cause.
Avoid reasoning with them.

Toddlers throw tantrums in order to get your attention. When this happens, don’t try to negotiate or reason with your kid.

They won’t listen to you anyway, so it is best just to ignore the tantrums.

This will show your kids that throwing a tantrum is not the way that you communicate with another person.
Let them play it out. When you’re angry, you have a lot of steam built up inside that you will need to let out.

The same goes for your kids, if they have a tantrum, they need to have an outlet to express what they feel. Let them scream, yell and cry in another room.

However, explain to them why you are putting them in another room and that you will not support their behavior.

Let them play out what they feel in another room and leave them. Only return after the screaming, yelling and the crying have completely ceased.
Give them a hug.

Hugs can be a reassuring gesture which also shows love and comfort.

When your kids are throwing a tantrum and you want to keep them from getting hurt, give them a firm yet gentle hug.

Although kids would not want to be held down when they’re having tantrums, hugging your kid will eventually calm them down. It can assure them that you care and that you love them.

Never compromise even after the tantrum has ceased.

After the tantrum stops, don’t give them what they wanted.

Instead give them an alternative to what they wanted.

If you reward them after they have stopped with the thing they wanted, this can create confusion in your kid.

They may think that they can still get what they want, even if took longer.


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Today we’re going to talk about temper tantrums.

Now there’s a number of reasons children have temper tantrums:

First, they’re very developmentally normal for children up to three years of age.

And young children at that time, they’re going to have a temper tantrum from an urgent need that is not met or when they’re tired, hungry bored, or frustrated.

Older children over the age of three have temper tantrums for different reasons.

Generally they have them because they have been given into, they’ve had a tantrum earlier in their life and it’s worked for them so they continued that skill as a strategy of getting their way.

They have one for unrealistic expectations of parents, inappropriate discipline that’s a little bit too punitive or too permissive and also when they are fatigued they will do that, and the last one is when they’ve had too much stress in their life.

Those of you who have had children, maybe one or more children, you might say,

“Well how come one child has more temper tantrums than another?”

Well this is based on a number of things:

First, it is based on the temperament of the child. Some kids are just born easy temperament, they’re easy to regulate, they go to sleep well, they eat well, they’re just very easy children.

Other children are born with a very difficult temperament, it’s hard to soothe them, they’re finicky eaters, they’re finicky sleepers, when they get upset they can’t calm as easily as other children, and the last one again a stressors. Inconsistent routines, inappropriate discipline, unrealistic expectations, divorce, child-care, death in the family, depression.

All these things will affect the amount, number and intensity of tantrums that children will have. So how best can we respond to temper tantrums? The first thing I want you to hear and I want you to hear it very, very clearly is there’s no right way to do it.

Different things will be appropriate for different children.

But in general, these are some strategies that will be helpful:

The first thing to understand is temper tantrums are a non-verbal communication.

We all recognize them.

The face is red, they’re wailing, the arms are going, they’re holding their breath, they’re screaming.

We recognize a temper tantrum.

So what are they trying to say?

Generally they’re going to say “I’m overwhelmed.

I can’t handle this.”

The second one is “I’m trying a strategy that worked last time and I’m wondering if it’s gonna work this time ’cause you gave in last time so all I got to do is scream and shout, long enough, hard enough, and ultimately I’m going to get what I want.”

So one its developmental I’m overwhelmed, and two you’ve taught the child to have these tantrums.

Child tantrum

So we respond to these almost in similar ways:

The first thing to do is to unhook ourselves.

So again we’re going to be a S.T.A.R., we’re not going to get triggered, we’re going to take a deep breath and we’re going to calm ourselves.

Sometimes just calming ourselves puts some calming energy around the child.

The second thing we’re going to do is it we’re going to offer empathy and we’re going to start with the body.

Your arms are going like this, your face is like this, your body’s telling me I feel so frustrated.

So I’m going to say those words again so you can get them:

Your arms are going like this, your face is all scrunched up, your body is telling me I really wanted to watch this or I am so tired, whatever your best guess is.

And from that situation then, you’re going to actually just leave the child alone if that seems what would be best for them or you going to pick the child up, put them to your body and say nothing but breathe at first and then you’re going to say

“You’re safe, you can handle this, I’ve got you.

You’re safe, you can handle this, I’ve got you.” Once the temper tantrum is over, whatever the original trigger was, the child does not get out of anything.

If they threw a fit about taking their fork to the sink, once the temper tantrum is over, give them a choice, “You can carry the fork over in this hand or you can carry the fork in this hand to the sink.

Which is best with you?”

If it was about wearing blue pants as opposed to green pants, once it’s over there gonna put the green pants on, just give them a choice,

“Do you want to put them on when sitting on the floor, or would it be easier to stand up and put your pants on?”

The temper tantrum does not allow a child to get out doing something.

So why not just let the child flop around on the floor like a fish outta water and ignore quote the bad behavior?

We want to offer empathy, we want to offer breathing because it’s gonna help the child learn how to get from the lower centers of their brain to the higher centers of their brain and we’re providing that methodology, and internalize it in the child that they can use the rest of their life.

So here’s your homework:

When you see a child in a grocery store and it’s not even yours, here’s what you can practice, just breathe and wish that child well in that family.

Put some calmness into the energy as opposed to “What the heck are they doing?” Add your calmness to the situation.

If it’s your own child, unhook, do not take it personally, take some breath add some calmness to the chaos with your own energetic being.

Say to the child, “Oh, your hands, your feet are going like this, your face looks like this, your body’s telling me this was just, I’m just so tired and so hungry.”

And then depending on the temperament of the child you’re either going to leave them alone, give them some space, or you’re going to scoop them up and put them on your chest, relax and say,

“You’re safe, you’re safe, I’ve got you, you can handle this.”

And then once the temper tantrum is over they’re gonna go back and complete the task that triggered them to begin with.

Until next time I wish you well..

As found on Youtube


Understanding Challenging Behavior in Young Children

Understanding toddler challenging behavior is almost as difficult as understanding teenage behavior, with the added obstacle of a language barrier.

Too often, parents assume their toddlers remain the compliant babies they’ve known since birth.

Yet toddler hood is an important part of development and the time where children begin seeing themselves as separate entities from their parents.

This new desire for independence clashes with their need to want to please others.

This puts toddlers in a challenging position and is the root cause of defiance and acting out.

This emerging role is not only hard for budding toddlers, but also for their parents.

Fortunately, understanding and being compassionate toward toddler challenging behavior creates the supportive environment that children thrive in, while limiting their need to resist.

Up until toddler hood, babies spend their days following a routine put in place by someone else.

When toddler-hood approaches, toddlers discover their own will to do things and their power in making decisions.

Dad scolding his son and sending him away

The more influence toddlers see they have, the more they practice this authority.

It’s important to remember that children have the urge to please, so challenging behaviors are not an attempt to rebel.

Toddlers naturally want everything their own way as well, which adds further tension to pushing boundaries.
Discipline has little effectiveness here, as children are not aware that they are doing anything wrong.

Instead, offer consistent, easy-to-follow rules.

Give clear instructions and be firm in the tone of voice.

By showing toddlers what is expected from them, they will soon understand what areas cannot be challenged.

Children grow emotionally, socially and physically during the toddler years.

To prepare for the time ahead, toddlers should have the opportunity to make decisions.

While some rules are not to be disputed, other areas should be more flexible.

By offering alternatives, toddlers feel less threatened and are more likely to obey when the answer is no.

Allowing choices also encourages toddlers to feel valued and know they are not powerless in the world.

Start small and let a child choose between peas or carrots for dinner or turning a light off before bed.

It’s not just a toddler’s increasing independence and strong willfulness that can be wearing on a parent.

Toddlers are impulsive, curious and endlessly tiring.

Parents must bear in mind that children are not intentionally trying to be disruptive and best respond with empathy and patience.

Use a firm yet kind voice, and keep rules steady and easy to understand.

Toddlers will learn over time to have more control over their behaviors.

Lastly, toddlers don’t have a concept as to “good” and “bad” behavior.

They are also limited on their vocabulary, but are beginning to understand adults.

Their need to express themselves can be complicated, causing sudden outbursts and tantrums.

Not being heard is frustrating for a young child, so identify with the toddler by making eye contact and repeating his or her feelings using basic words.

When toddlers know they are heard, understood and valued, they become well-adjusted, confident children.


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Anne Giordano: Whenever young children have behavioral concerns it’s upsetting for everyone.

Sometimes we can get wrapped up in wanting to just stop that behavior rather than thinking about the root cause of the behavior and really, if we stop there, it’s a missed opportunity.

I think that’s a great reason to sort of want to slow down a little bit and think back to; why might this be happening?

Mary Watson Avery: All behavior is communication and no matter whether a child is showing you positive behavior – what you perceive to be as positive behavior or you perceive as challenging behavior – the child’s telling you something. Can we guess what that child is trying to tell you?

Toddler teacher: Hi Robbie.

He’s excited to see you.

Oops. Is that in your way?

Should I move it? Couldn’t see Robbie? Kara Wanzer:

We just have to figure out what they’re communicating and what function or what need is unmet for the child. Once we understand the child more in their circumstance, we start to see it a little differently and then we can really work on what that student or child needs.

Cathy Tormey: I would consider whether the child coming off a busy weekend. Whether the child’s coming off – if the behavior has all of the sudden changed.

Has the child been sick?

Are there changes going on in the family?

I would ask if anything’s different or special happened.

One of the kids recently had a pretty serious fall, and so now she’s frightened of going down the stairs. If I didn’t have that information, I wouldn’t be able to figure that out.

Jamie Vallarelli: When a child is really pushing my buttons, I really try to take deep breaths and I try to get to the bottom of the problem right away, and try to get to what’s really bothering the child and help them work through it rather than just implementing a consequence right away.

Janette Rivera: One of the things as a teacher that I do is observing the child.

Why is she doing this? you know, taking notes on what happened before, what happened after, and how can you get that child to communicate her needs. It’s very important to understand where she’s coming from too.

Kara Wanzer: One thing I ask teachers to keep in mind all of the time is to be reflective in their relationships that they have with parents and children. That’s the first thing that we need to think of as teachers when we enter a classroom. We’re also in a relationship with that child, so they are learning how to go about doing the right thing or what’s a really good pro social skill to have by just being in a relationship with you.

Anne Giardano: I think whenever we’re looking at the behavior of very young children, certainly we want to always look at medical types of things and rule that out. Is there something medical or is there something physical that might be impacting the child? Is the child hearing adequately?

Ann Gruenberg: Sometimes children have sensory differences that can affect how they behave, and they don’t always have deep-seated emotional issues associated with those.

Tanya Moorehead: If students are over stimulated, they might retreat, and their behavior might be interpreted by the teachers as there’s something wrong with them, and in turn if a student is under-stimulated, they might jump around make a lot of noise, because they’re trying to meet that need of being stimulated.

Ann Gruenberg: And there’s a lot of good information about children with patterns of language delays sometimes having behavioral issues because there are perpetually not able to express what they want or what they need using words. Michelle Levy: Sometimes stages of development involve behaviors that seem inappropriate or out of line but may actually be a natural phase that children go through.

Anne Giardano: Very young infants have a job of establishing security and safety so they are going to cry. That’s the only tool that they have to let you know that they need you. A more mobile infant is going to do a lot of exploring and starting to get into trouble. But we need to remember that that’s what they’re supposed to do at that age.

Michelle Levy: Toddlers often began to assert themselves by saying “no” over and over again, and that’s one of the ways in which they assert themselves.

Maureen Ostroff: I would never get through a book if I waited for everybody to sit down and not sit criss-cross applesauce, hands in your lap. And you can’t get eighteen adults to do everything the same way at one time, let alone eighteen three- and four-year-old. If you look at the standards, it’s not an expectation for all eighteen kids to sit there like this, and just look at a story.

Maureen: Once upon a time, there was a little old man and a little old woman.

How’d they feel?

Do you remember?

Maureen Ostroff: They’re not all going to sit, and this is why we do two small groups also for the story. And it’s okay if they’re touching the book during all that time, and they can grab the book from me. It’s alright; it’s just part of being three and four. Michelle Levy: I think having adults be able to look at the Early Learning Standards, consider what is typical in the development of these various skills can really provide a useful tool for both understanding child development and where things may be out of step.

Anne Giordano: We always need to be thinking about what might be a uniqueness that a particular child might be bringing. Some children are very auditory learners. Some children are very kinesthetic learners.

Child: A bunny, like this! Hop! Hop! Hop!

Janette Rivera: Every child is unique, and as a teacher, we all need to adjust. Step back and think about the child through observation, through play. Whether they’re shy or they’re more opened up. Child: I’m trying to be the doctor here.

Okay? I’m trying to save the baby.

You can be the nurse, okay?

Be the nurse.

You want to be the nurse?

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman: Most people think that their experience is what everyone’s feeling.

So if you like physical contact, you give a lot of physical contact and they might be trying to get space. They may be getting too much stimulation. You have to understand that your way of being in the world is relative.

Tanya Moorehead: How the family interacts with their child is very important. I think that’s how you find out about family culture. One child might be able to run around freely and explore their environment while the other one was taught to sit still and only move when an adult gives them permission to move. So if you have both within your classroom and you have one child exploring and the other child who’s timid or appears to be timid, it is not that one is not learning and one that is misbehaving, it’s that they’ve been taught differently within their households.

Yotisse Williams: Cultural influences are a very big part of, I would say, the child’s development.

In our classroom we really encourage self-help skills, and there’s one little guy I’m thinking of in particular, Dad does everything for him at home, and it’s a cultural thing you know, Mom has shared with me. But the thing about that is, when you have an environment that’s conducive to parents sharing, then you have an understanding of what those cultural influences are and how to support them.

Challenging Behavior

Also how to get the parents to see what you’re trying to do we have to back up a little bit and get to know their parents.

Anne Giordano: Every home brings its own culture.

What we can do is be up front about that and say, “Tell me a little bit more about your home when it comes to sleeping and eating.”

We need to learn about what the family routines are so that we can understand them and then partner with families to say, “well let’s work together on how we might be able to help your child master a new skill here.

Anne Giordano: Children’s external environment has a large impact on how they’re able to to manage themselves.

Highly destructible children are going to have a really hard time maintaining focus and attention and staying on task if they’re constantly bombarded with sound and activity. I think sometimes it’s a really good practice for teachers to maybe just sit on the floor, and just look around and listen.

One sort of general rule of thumb is if you have many children exhibiting the same behavior in a space, you might say to yourself huh I wonder whether we need to look at this environment.

If someone’s biting in the block corner, perhaps it’s too tight of an area and we’ve got too many children congregated there. We also can think about whether do we have too much space. So do we have children running all over and banging into one another.

Ashley Anderson: To me, having an environment that is calm and safe and free of run spaces so no one’s doing laps in the room—it really affects their behavior. I strive to have as many natural fibers and materials in my classroom as possible to lighten the mood and to bring it down to a calming level. Soft music playing during meal times. And so making sure that we are aware of what their environment at home is like and then adjusting our classroom environment.

Anne Giordano: If the child has had a lot change in their environment at home, maybe there’s been a disruption in where they’re living, maybe there’s been a family separation. Well they’re then having to function in environments with different expectations, and that’s a lot for a little one to learn the rules in all of those place. And while we’re not going to change those things, we need to kind of know about that.

Pat Kitchen: They just go with the flow and know that they need some positive reinforcement, everything’s gonna be okay. And they’re not verbalizing that and trying to talk about it but you know that’s affecting the behavior.

Anne Giordano: Children can only do what they know, right? They just haven’t learned new things yet. So, it’s our role as teachers, and parents, and caregivers to teach those new things, new skills for them and give them plenty of time to practice them and we have to be patient and remember that they are learning.

Toddler teacher: Oh no.

Stop. How are we using these balls?

How should we use them?

Can you feel how hard this is?

Feel it with your fingernail.

What would happen if it hit a friend?

What would happen if you threw it and it bumped a friend?

Ouch! That would make a big boo-boo.

We’re going to roll the balls; you may roll the balls.

Cathy Tormey: We do a lot of talking when there is inappropriate behavior. You know, I address that and I’ll say, “No, that’s not nice. Hitting hurts,” or “You took this away, and now she’s sad.” Child: Me. Cathy: Wait a minute, you have to use your words. Ask Lexi. Child: May I have please? I take it! Cathy: See? She shared with you.

Mary Watson Avery: Behavior is one of those things that adults think children should just kind of learn or pick up on their own. I ask teachers to think of it as, you know: would you expect them to learn how to read on their own?

If I want them to act this way, do they have the skills to do it and if they don’t how can I teach? How can I support them?

How can I remind them of what to do?

Preschool teacher: Dustin, he doesn’t know what you want to say unless you use your words.

What would you like to tell him? What would you like to tell him with your words?

Child: Please don’t do that.

Anne Giordano: All children from their earliest days learn how to regulate, learn how to feel safe, learn how to function based upon the very earliest attachment relationships that they’ve had. But we also know that not all of our children have had that good fortune. We have children who have experienced trauma. We’ve had children that have had disruptions in their home life. We’ve had children that are experiencing toxic stress all around them in their family lives and we have to remember that those children are going to come with us with really strong needs and usually those are the behaviors that are the hardest to manage and they need us the most.

But then what we have to do is remember that that child is asking for our help and really what they’re saying is that I feel unsafe and I feel insecure.

Kara Wanzer: It might not be something that we have control over but we do have control over helping them build more skill in emotional literacy and pro-social behaviors and things like that. There are times where it’s really important when we’re working with kids who really have a challenging behavior – so we’re talking persistent, over time, that’s interfering with their social relationships or their learning and for those kids they need a team.

Anne Giordano: These are times that we often need to think about what other referrals might be appropriate to support that child because it’s it may be bigger than what we can to re-mediate with in a center environment or in a care-giving environment. And we can work in tandem with them so that we are all working on the same the same goals in using the same strategies.

Kara Wanzer: It’s really important that we see the whole context of the situation and the whole child – what the situation is for a child; what their temperament is; what their environment is; what their home life is. What are this child’s strengths and then how can we build on what the child already has?

Anne Giordano: If we understand the root cause, and it takes some work to figure it out, but if we can understand that, it gives us an opportunity to teach.

And that’s really what we want to do, is use as a learning point for children to grow from, because much of it is practice and learning.

We have to teach them..

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