Sue Watson, writing on the website, Thoughtco.com, offers nine strategies for dealing with children’s challenging behavior that educators can put into practice, or administrators can offer to staff, or college professors share with their students. Here are two of the strategies:
“Do the Opposite of What Is Expected
When a child or student misbehaves, they often anticipate the teacher's response. Teachers can do the unexpected when this happens. For instance, when teachers see children playing with matches or playing in an area that is outside of the boundaries, they expect teachers to say "Stop," or "Get back inside the boundaries now." However, teachers can try saying something like, "You kids look too smart to be playing there." This type of communication will surprise children and students and works frequently.
Find Something Positive
For students or children who regularly misbehave, it can be challenging to find something positive to say. Teachers need to work at this because the more positive attention students receive, the less apt they are to look for attention negatively. Teachers can go out of their way to find something positive to say to their chronic misbehaving students. These children often lack belief in their ability and teachers need to help them see that they are capable.”
“9 Strategies to Handle Difficult Behaviors in Children,” by Sue Watson, February 25, 2019, Thoughtco.com
Addressing Challenging Behaviors
Challenging behavior is one of the biggest issues early childhood educators face every day. This practical and inspiring DVD offers a multitude of effective strategies for helping early childhood professionals understand and address children’s challenging behaviors.
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It's great to have creative options like these, and it's critical to always remember not all kids will respond the same way. Whatever we do, it must be done with authenticity and respect for the child. A key question is not how can I get the child to comply but rather how can I use moments like these to help children understand and articulate what happened, consider ways to make amends and understand their bodies and brains well enough to be their best selves in the future.