Guidance and Challenging Behaviors


When you see challenging behavior, it usually means that your children can’t figure out how to express their feelings in an acceptable way or they don't know how to get a need met. Your job as a parent is to show them a different, more constructive way to handle these feelings.

Learning to cope with strong feelings usually happens naturally as children develop better language skills in their third year and have more experience when interacting with their peers, handling disappointment, and following rules. Self-control is something that even adults have to practice. The more you practice these behaviors the sooner you’ll find them turning into new and healthier habits that may become permanent lifestyle changes.  Here are some ideas for helping your children begin to learn these important skill:

  • Focus more on relating than teaching - Focus less on lecturing, children want to feel heard, understood and validated.
  • Be intentional with your vocal tone and language - Your vocal tone should be steady and focused, avoid shouting. The words you choose are also very important, avoid lecturing and ask open ended questions.
  • Teach them to recover from their mistakes - Instead of shaming them for making a mistake try to help them repair it, lead by example and show them how to take responsibility.
  • Remain calm - Harsh or emotional responses tend to escalate child’s aggression.

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