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Dealing with challenging behaviors

Crying babies? Get tips to help sooth them / PA's Promise for ChildrenFinding positive ways to address your child’s challenging behaviors creates better harmony in your family (and gives your nerves a little rest) but is also helping your child learn vital social skills that will help her in school and in life.

The familiar Native American proverb says, “Don’t criticize someone until you’ve walked a mile in his (or her) shoes.” When a child is misbehaving, either in major or minor ways, it’s easy either to take it personally or imagine that the child deliberately wants to be annoying or disruptive. Instead, if we follow the proverb, we try to understand why he or she is behaving in a certain way. If we put ourselves in the child’s shoes and see things from his or her point of view, we are better able to help the child change the difficult behavior.

Here are some of the great resources for families from the Pennsylvania Key Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation ProjectCenter on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL)Zero to Three, and the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention. Visit their sites for additional tips and resources. Sesame Street also offers a ton of videos you can watch with your child that address emotions, getting along with others, and other behaviors.

Understanding young children’s behavior:

General tips:

Aggression:

Defiance:

Inconsolable crying, temper tantrums:

Sleep issues:

  • Diane says:

    Does Promise for Children only address early childhood ? What about other developmental stages, up to and including adolescence ?

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