So often parents struggle to find a way to manage a child's limit testing or difficult behaviors in a supportive way that both acknowledges the child's developmental level and teaches without punishment.
Here are three key concepts to consider when managing difficult behaviors:
Set Limits -
When setting limits, try to be consistent and predictable. Children need to understand what our expectations are. Be clear and discuss consequences and expectations during moments of calm. Having a routine for the day also helps children, as does leaving adequate time for transitions between activities.
Create a safe home
Emotional and Physical safety is important for children. Create a home environment where emotions can be expressed, explored, and where everyone can learn from challenges but also a home where children feel safe when they are struggling emotionally. When creating physical safety, remember that children move and explore as part of their development and that it is our job to help them find ways to do this.
Connect and then Correct
When difficult behaviors arise, the first step as caregivers should be to connect with our children in an emotionally supportive way. Before correcting their behavior, attempt to understand their experience and point of view.
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