Managing Challenging Behavior

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1 Managing Challenging Behavior Laura Taddei PQAS #CI Learning Objectives o Participants will identify managing behaviors that may occur while caring for children o Participants will analyze positive ways to handle challenging behavior o Participants will investigate ways to modify the environment to help children succeed Activity Challenging Behaviors what are they? o Participants will complete handout and return for review 1

2 Common Behavior Problems o Aggression o Oppositional o Tantrums o Sexual behaviors Our Job as Teacher o When we encounter challenging behaviors, it is our job to help the child learn skills or approaches to managing their own behavior o Connect the family with resources to offer support if needed Transition problems Why do challenging behaviors occur during transition times Provide activities the children can do during transitions List suggestions on side of handout Can some transitions be eliminated? Teach children what you expect from them during transitions. 2

3 Involving Parents o Parents may be embarrassed by their child s behavior and we need to be aware of this o Parents may not know what to do o Offering support and eventually parenting classes will help build partnerships with parents Per ECELS, behavior is a common concern o 90% of mothers of 2, 3 and 4 year olds have some concern about their child s behavior o 20% of mothers of 4 year olds have significant concerns. Why do children have challenging behaviors? o Medical reasons o Temperament of Child o Family Stress o Unmet needs of child o Child care center environment o Any other suggestions? List on note section of handout 3

4 Medical Reasons o Some children are sleep deprived o Come to school hungry o Lead poisoning causes problems with attention and activity o Pain or injury More Medical Reasons o Chronic conditions cystic fibrosis, diabetes, etc. o Developmental delays may cause frustration o Mental health problems; PDD, ADHD Family Issues o Lack of parenting skills o Lack of social support o Lack of money - poverty o Mental health problems such as substance abuse, depression, etc. o Teenage parents o Family history of poor discipline 4

5 Think about it To Tell or Not to Tell o If you are having a problem with a child s behavior, is it always wise to go to the parent? o If not, why? o Please list responses on note section of handout Activity - What can we do to help? o Participants will complete activity. o Come up with positive reinforcement and consequences for negative behavior Help them succeed o Catch them being good o Stop the behavior before it starts o Keep the child close o Teach prosocial skills o Talk in a positive tone o Make them feel good about themselves 5

6 Tone of voice We need to be firm but respectful when talking to children Do not embarrass them or talk down to them Remember you are teaching them skills and they need supportive and caring adults Handout Challenging Behaviors Causes and Strategies o Participants will review handout describing behaviors and possible causes as well as what they can do to modify the environment. Creating a Classroom Community o Welcome and respect children o Validate their feelings and accomplishments o Help children make friends o Build relationships with each child o Stress to the children that they are part of a classroom community 6

7 Help them to be problemsolvers o Teach children to talk about situation identify the problem o Ask them how a situation should be handled generate solutions o Ask them how they would feel if they were the other child teach them empathy Tools to use o Redirection o Modeling o Positive reinforcement o Providing outlets o Verbalizing o Set limits They need us to teach them o Empathy o Taking turns o Waiting o Asking for things o Thanking o Recognizing others feelings 7

8 Documenting Behavior o Write down challenging behaviors o It is important to list what was happening before, during, and how the situation was handled o Review behavior chart When a problem occurs: o First care for the victim o Label positive behavior o Provide positive role models Biting o Common problem o ½ of children in day care are bitten, average 3 x a year o Peaks at 6 months, 9-12 months with affection; 15 to 18 months with aggression, 2 ½ if aggression not well handled o Persists in children that are physically punished, blind, language delayed, or have poor visual perceptual motor skills, like fine motor skills 8

9 Handling Biting o Always care for victim first o Assess skills of child and look for any environmental stressors o Communicate with caregivers that come into the room so they know to be aware o Teach the child negotiating skills o Keep the child close o If it persists, further evaluate Physical Aggression o Hitting, kicking, scratching must be stopped immediately o Victim needs attention o Get down to aggressor s level and state what the rule is regarding the physical aggression o Involve the aggressor in comforting the victim When a child calms down o Ask them what happened? o Tell them you could see that they were upset and you want to help them. o Reassure the child that you want to listen to them o Let them recover before giving them alternate ways to handle their feelings 9

10 Temper Tantrums o Screaming, kicking and crying o They often occur when children have strong feelings and they do not know how to express them o Act quickly to protect the child and other children in the room o Many tantrums can be avoided by providing developmentally appropriate environments Bullying o Children exert control over others o Behavior has to be stopped and redirected o Step in when you see it o Teach victims to be assertive when something occurs o Read a story on the subject o Involve children in role-playing Consequences o Consequences should occur immediately after behavior o Natural or Logical consequences 10

11 Activity - Natural or Logical o Participants will list consequences they could use for various behaviors list on note section of handout. Tips o Challenging behaviors are often cries for help o Try to find out what is going on o Help children regain control o You can t help children if you yourself are out of control o Talk yourself into a more positive way of feeling towards the child Conclusion o Please return the PowerPoint and all activity sheets to Laura in the Corporate Office. o When your information is reviewed and everything is complete, you will be awarded 2 hours of training through the PA Keys. o Please contact me at with any questions. Thank you! 11

12 Remember: "Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They're what make the instrument stretchwhat make you go beyond the norm." (Tyson) 12

13 Child s Name: Behavioral Data Collection Date What was happening before the incident (transition, quiet, center time) What behavior occurred (see list on second page for some behaviors) How was the situation handled Staff Initial

14 Behaviors can include: Repetitive, self-stimulating acts Self-Injurious behavior such as head banging, self-biting, eye-poking, pica (eating non food items), pulling out own hair Aggression, injury to others Disruption such as throwing things, banging on walls, stripping Agitation such as screaming, pacing, hyperventilating Refusing to eat, speak; acting detached, withdrawn Check a child s developmental stage before labeling a behavior a problem. Also, an isolated behavior is usually not a problem. Things you can do to help the child: Discuss the issues with parent, director, administrators Be supportive of the child remain calm; use supportive language. You might say, I know you are angry, but you should not hurt someone. You should treat people kindly. Talk gently; provide comfort when possible; praise the child when he/she does something appropriate. Maintain the structure of the program children need routine. Keep things consistent and predictable as much as possible; do not insist that a child participate fully; let the child know he/she is welcome and you want them to participate. Encourage communication Allow the child to talk over the problem. You might want to use a puppet or stuffed animal to role play and ask the child to use the puppet to express sad or angry feelings. Limit dangerous or hurtful behaviors Provide clear messages that tantrums, aggression, and other problem behaviors are not acceptable. Give the child acceptable alternatives. Tell the child if he/she is angry to let you know but to not hurt you or their friends. Keep an accurate log of problem behaviors It is important to note the date of the problem, what happened before the problem occurred, what helped the child, etc. Excerpted from ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA; PA Chapter; American Academy of Pediatrics:

15 Be aware of harmful discipline methods: Criticizing, discouraging, creating obstacles and barriers, blaming, shaming, using sarcastic or cruel humor, and physical punishment Saying things like, Don t do it that way. Or, You never Removing from the group, isolation, time out may also have a negative impact on children Tips for using positive guidance: Increase a child s self-esteem Allow the child to feel valued Encourage a child to feel cooperative Enable a child to learn gradually the vast amount of skills involved to becoming responsible Encourage a child to make positive choices Help a child become a problem solver Model Prosocial Behavior: Acts of kindness that benefit others Behaviors that demonstrate cooperation and helpfulness Examples: accepting others feelings, verbally and physically comforting others, helping others, cooperating in play and cleanup, sharing toys, sharing affection, showing concern Encourage Positive Behaviors: Studies show teacher personality affects behavior of children in the classroom Model prosocial behaviors Observe the children Be aware of stereotypes be honest to yourself Direct Guidance: Use simple language Speak in a relaxed voice Be positive Offer choices with care Encourage independence and cooperation Be firm Be consistent Intervene when necessary Use I-Messages Positive reinforcement Use consequences Redirecting Modeling Time out as last resort

16 Challenging Behaviors what are they? Activity Please answer the questions below and return with your completed packet: List one challenging behavior that you have encountered while working with children? How did you handle this behavior? Was the problem resolved? If not, why do you think it was not resolved?

17 How can we help manage behaviors? Activity Please answer the questions below and return with completed packet: What are some ways to reinforce positive behavior in a child? What are some consequences to negative behavior? Does the same technique always work on every child?

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