Behaviour management now ….
Hands up who has heard the saying ” terrible 2s”, well lets have a closer look at what its all about and how we can work together with our little people whilst they work out what they can and cant do!!
First of all using the EYFS, there is a specifc section that looks at the skills under “Managing feelings and behaviour” which is underpinned by the childs personal, social and emotional development.
Even our youngest children are learning to respond to others around them- by learning to calm when upset, feeling secure in someones touch and showing a range of emotions such as smiling when others do.
As they get older and grasp the basic skills, they begin to slowly learn about “no” and some very simple boundaries, so it is essential we start as we mean to go on and be very clear of basic expectations.
As they get older, a sense of independence will start to take over and a determination of “I can do it!, let me!”- we see this often at meal times with the battle over the spoon, so why not have one each.
Another big hurdle at this point- sharing! imagine having a chocolate cake, would you really want to cut a piece off for someone else if its something you love!, this is why it is crucial we start to spend time around others- in the park, at the library or indeed with us at Kids Around the Clock.
Social skills will help children mix together, understand how our friends feel and help us develop skills of empathy.
Looking at our wonderful toddler ages (approx. 2-2.5 years), do you know our little bundles begin to develop a skill of stopping from doing something they know they shouldn’t- sometimes a little look or signal will help them understand this too, (im 35 and my mum still has a look that makes me question if its the right decision!)
Again older still, (so much growing in a short time) our children will learn how to adapt or change their behaviour to suit the situation they are in ( notice the difference between grandmas and daddy’s house??), they will also at this stage be developing skills of “waiting”- this doesn’t mean they wait patiently in line for 20 minutes with out a peep, but they gain an understanding that it will be their turn next and they may have a little wait!
Only when children get to the end of the first year in school (or to 5 years old) will they follow rules, work in a group with friends, understand there may be changes to their routine and be confident to tell you how they are feeling or why they have done something!. So many skills in such a little time!
So how can we approach it positively without feeling all we are saying is “No”, “don’t do that”, “ah-ah”-
Well here at KATC we use an approach similar to a pyramid…
Looking at the first level, “Play”- make sure your child is engaged, busy and entertained, this will hopefully deter any unwanted behaviours.
Provide lots of positive language, praise and incentives ( take the tablet away and use as a reward), stamps and stickers especially of their favourite character works well too.
Set very clear expectations, not something that is out of reach- so asking a child of 18months to share his toy with his baby sister wont work!
Distract them to something else- use your tone of voice, gestures to grasp their attention and take their minds elsewhere.
Ignore the behaviour, it is sometimes a little way to grab your attention! Turn away, if they are repeatedly doing something, for example climbing on a table, simply say nothing and take them down safely to another place.
Sometimes, despite all the positives and distractions it may just need a little time away to calm down- stay in earshot/eye sight but take them to a quieter space where they can relax and calm themselves down if they have got to a point of not responding to any of the techniques.
Tantrums are purely a sign they have lost control of the moment and need some space and time to get it back!.
Deal with the behaviour and move on- it is a new fresh start- don’t keep reminding them of what should have happened or what did!.
Please don’t forget as the adult you are responsible for keeping this little person safe, you will needs to guide them in the right direction or support with choices they make- always remember it is the behaviour which may not be the best but that little person is developing into an independent and strong being with wonderful life skills.
If in doubt ask your very own “super nannies”, we are always on hand to help or advise, and a problem shared is a problem halved…
Our team motto is there are no problems only solutions so lets approach it together