Sunday, October 24, 2010

Challenging Behavior #13

I think I’ve finally finished the topic of challenging behaviors—at least for 2010! Today I would like to summarize the most important points from our many months of discussion. If you feel you’d like to review any of the information presented, you can fire up your computer’s internet connection and point your browser to Here are some of the topics we covered:

Back in August we explored behaviors that may have seemed like challenges to us but were really developmentally appropriate. A teething baby needs to bite to sooth his gums. This should not be seen as a challenging behavior but rather a stage of development. However, how we respond to his biting may push the biting stage into an age where it is not appropriate, where he bites to get attention or bites to control a peer. To review these two columns in the blog, see Challenging Behavior #1 and #2.

Bedtime routines and the challenges that parents face in establishing good bedtime routines were covered in #3 and #4. The difference in being proactive and reactive when faced with challenging behaviors was covered in #5 and #6. We discussed adjusting family routines to best manage behavior challenges in #7.

Various behaviors of toddlers and understanding the world from a toddler’s viewpoint was covered in #8, #9, and #10. I think many of the challenges parents have with preschoolers and beyond have their beginnings in the toddler years from 18 months to 3 years.

The two most powerful tools that parents and preschool teachers use were covered in # 11 and #12—ignoring and paying attention—but we learned that using these tools effectively takes careful analysis and lots of practice.

I dearly love toddlers. Their behavioral goals are so transparent and if you don’t let the behaviors throw you, it is one of the most endearing times in the preschool years. Next week we will explore some of the motor skills of the toddler stage and how these little ones work at control. Thank-you for following along this journey in child development!

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