How best to deal with a difficult child

How best to deal with a difficult child

Good and bad behaviour varies according to perspective. Circumstances can often affect how behaviour is judged. For example not putting your toys away may be a bigger problem if you are living in a confined space. Adults react to behaviour in different ways and the child’s character will also make a difference.

Reasons for difficult behaviour may include life changes such as the birth of a sibling, moving home, change in care arrangements or something much smaller. Children are often very receptive to what is happening around them so the likelihood is if you are feeling upset they will quickly notice to. They may then behave badly when you feel least able to cope.

Sometimes a child may react negatively because of the way behaviour has been handled before. – A lollipop may stop tears quickly in the short term but cause more issues later on. Sometimes children simply act up because they are tired, hungry, over excited, frustrated or bored.

If a child is behaving badly first decide whether it is a problem. Does something need to be done or can it be ignored until the phase is grown out of? Does the behaviour cause problems for others? Sometimes taking action can make problems worse but if a behaviour is upsetting the child or those around them it is important to deal with it.

Once a decision has been made persistence is key. Solutions take time to work. Here at Crawford Childcare we advocate a partnership approach between home and childcare so that everyone close to the child deals with the problem in the same way.

It is important not to over react and talk to the child. Even very young children with few words have the ability to understand. Encourage your child to talk to you giving them the chance to explain which may help to reduce their frustration. When a child’s behaviour is challenging it is easy to overlook what they are doing well. Tell your child when you are pleased. Giving attention, hugs and smiles are all great rewards – there doesn’t have to any reason – Let children know that they are loved for who they are.

At Crawford Childcare our behaviour management policy outlines how challenging behaviour is tackled in the creche in an age appropriate way:
Positive reinforcement: the child will be encouraged and praised when he/ she is demonstrating acceptable behaviour
Distraction: the child is redirected to a toy or area of interest in the room. At all times the child is comforted by their carer who provides emotional support.
Redirection: the child is redirected to another area of interest in the room and given the opportunity to try again at another time.
When and then statements: a statement in which the child is encouraged to accomplish something before going on to something else.
Take a break: the child will be seated at a table away from other children with a member of staff who will explain to the child that their actions have led to them being sat out. The child is then returned to the group and encouraged to try again.

Sometimes extra help is needed. At Crawford Childcare we will always try to support you and your child in anyway we can. Challenging behaviour can put a big strain on parents. Please remember we are always willing to talk any problems through with you with the aim of working together to solve them.

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