Monday, February 17, 2014

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Top Ten Parenting Reminders for Your Child’s Challenging Behaviors

Child and mother with Apple iPadParenting is not easy, especially when facing challenging behaviors from your children. Here are ten tips for parents dealing with challenging behaviors (e.g., noncompliance, aggression, inappropriate play) from Dr. Bonnie Nicholson's Positive Parenting Research Team in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Southern Mississippi:
  1. STOP! When your child displays a challenging behavior, do not react or respond immediately; simply take a moment to stop.
  2. THINK! Consider your current thoughts and feelings and identify strategies to help you manage them.
  3. CALM DOWN! Identify strategies that help you calm down. This can include anything from leaving the room to cool down, getting a glass of water, taking deep breaths, or counting to ten in your head.
  4. ASK! Ask yourself: Why is my child acting this way? Is my child tired, hungry, frustrated, or needing attention?
  5. BE REALISTIC! Are your expectations age-appropriate? Remember that children develop gradually.
  6. RESPOND! Address and respond to your child’s challenging behavior in a thoughtful manner.
  7. LOOK! Make eye contact with your child when giving them instructions.
  8. SIMPLIFY! Give only one instruction at a time.
  9. PRAISE! Compliment your child when they follow instructions.
  10. BE PREPARED! Bring along extra toys, talk with your child before the event, pack small snacks, and provide compliments when things are going well.
The Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic provides assistance to parents in the Hattiesburg area through the Parenting Young Children program.