Q – “A 3 year old child has become very argumentative and distressed whenever we ask them to do something or have to intervene for poor behaviour. A behaviour plan has been written for the child. They refuse and flop on the floor and will not listen and distract the other children. We have tried removing them from the area, talking both calmly and firmly, calm time on their own and with the key person and sitting with a timer, working in a timetable so they know the changes about to happen, and encouraging them to be a helper. Nothing seems to work and it is slowly becoming worse, and they have begun to shout and sometimes (very rarely) hits out. What tactics can we use to calm them down with empathy to their feelings but also to get them to realise that we must not behave in this way?”
A – “Acknowledging their feelings…. “I can see you’re cross” let them know it’s ok to be cross but they need to do the task! Conflict resolution seems to work wonders so offering a choice “you need to sit for story. So you choose go and get a story mat or I will carry you and do it for you?” Emotions books happy sad cross lonely angry etc! Rewards so first out to play….. over obvious praise! I know you probably do all this but worth mentioning also happy and sad faces in the bored as a visual for them to choose how they feel thy day etc”
A – “A now and next visual might help rather then a timetable with a lot of information. Stick with it thy have to do the task you want them to do before they have the next of a reward. Start off with small requests e.g. A piece of work or task that takes a few minutes even if it’s easy for them and then the next can be a reward that they like. Put it on a timer and when it’s finished show then what’s next. It helps to build trust in the visuals and they will build up to completing bigger tasks and less behaviours. Be consistent or this method won’t work. Hope this helps ?. Visuals for no hitting, sitting etc might help. Once the behaviour starts and takes over verbal language will not be effective where as a visual may help”
A – “Firstly have you spoke to the parents if any changes have happen at home, what about keeping a diary of how the child’s day has been not just negative comments good things he has done, what he might of enjoyed in the day. Mum and dad can fill it in to how his night sleep was what he’s eaten ect
Make a sticker / stamp chart for him to do when rewarded for his good behaviour or jobs he had done, it may encourage him if he knows he gets a smiley face on his chart he may become more likely to become happier in the setting and of course always praise him and tell how well he is doing, and it is okay to feel upset sometimes.
Hope this helps xxx”
A – “Try to ignore the behaviour unless it becomes unsafe to do this…instead focus on the positives that are happening, be quick to give recognition and praise for efforts and you’ll soon start to see the child seeking out positive attention rather than negative…make sure you tell parents at collection time the good things the child has achieved today too this really helps if parents try this technique alongside aswell “
A – “I definitely would suggest a social story something the key person or relevant staff can read through with the child outlining it’s okay to be cross but when we shout it hurts ears instead we can use our feelings card to show how we feel. Or something along those lines. It’ll take time and patience but they work wonders”
A – “I definitely would suggest a social story something the key person or relevant staff can read through with the child outlining it’s okay to be cross but when we shout it hurts ears instead we can use our feelings card to show how we feel. Or something along those lines. It’ll take time and patience but they work wonders“”
A – “We did some training a while back on behaviour management. If you praise other children for taking part in an activity, saying, “I really like the way you are gluing that picture or sharing that toy it makes me really happy. It encourages other children to want to please you too. If this child isn’t acting appropriately you say, “it makes me sad when you throw yourself on the floor. Maybe if you come and draw me a picture you can make me happy again. It’s all about talking about emotions. It’s important to use on all the children so as not to single this one child out. We also have a happy and sad picture on our sign in wall, do children can talk about how they are feeling and what we can do to get them on the happy side if we need too. Hope this helps.”
A – “There may be an underlying issue, sensory for example? Do you have an early years consultant attached to your setting? They should come in, with parents consent, to observe behaviour and in time you may be entitled to some funding so the child can get some one to one. In the mean time they’ll at least give you tips and advice.”
A – “Feelings box is a good resource to use on a one to one or in a small group to develop social skills taking turns sharing.Good to talk about how the child is feeling what makes them happy sad angry excited.Also how it makes other people feel when they hurt someone else’s feelings.i have found this can help.its good for a key person to bond with their key group too”
A – “Offer them a cuddle. We sometimes say we know you are upset/cross/angry etc but when you have calmed down come and find (whatever your name is) and then you can (go outside, do something that they like). When they are lashing out sometimes they could be suffering from anxiety. So maybe assure them that they are safe and nothing or no one can hurt them and ask them if they need or want a cuddle. Then see if they want to do something with you. There’s potential the activities are not stretching his ability of knowledge far enough and he could be bored or they are too challenging and need rethinking for him. Or the activities aren’t interesting him. His key person may need to plan something for him that comes directly from his interests.”
A – “Calm bottles are good for when a child is angry. They are similar to sensory bottles but take longer for the contents to settle. The child can shake the bottle as a physical release of their tension. But once they are ready to calm they have to sit long enough for the contents to settle. Once they have calmed they may then wish to talk about what happened. Takes a few goes for them to understand the process, but if used consistently can be very therapeutic.
Also with behaviour charts are the time scales realistic? For example start of earning a sticker every 30minutes. if the child does something wrong in the first few minutes they need to understand that they are not getting the sticker for that period, but the next period starts soon after. The time periods can be built up over time until they are earning one for am and pm. The good thing with so many opportunities is practitioners are more likely to monitor it fairly, i.e. You didn’t get a sticker then because of …. but you got one then as you followed the rules. I have worked with practitioners who just give a sticker regardless of what’s happened. Behaviour charts do not work if no consistency is used. Make sure there is quiet, cosy, ‘safe’ places to go to in the room for the child when feeling stressed.
Positivity is the key, focus on the good, move on from the bad xxx”
A – “Are there any other problems with this child? Poor behaviour often has an underlying cause.
Focus on the positive.
It could be anxiety based so taken away the pressures and making the child feel secure can help.”
A – “Have you spoken to the parents? Something might be happening at home. Also you could contact the child’s health visitor? They can help work with the family too and give advice.”
A – “Sometimes a change in behaviour can signal unrest at home etc. Has this been looked into. Try a sensory area with soft cushions lights and calming music?”
A – “Sound like they are getting a lot of attention for their negative behaviour”
A – “Give the child a cuddle if you can, if you can put your two fingers onto the child’s wrist, and thumb underneath very gently, the pulse of you calm and slow will go to the child, before you can get the child to perform well, the child needs to trust you. Then take time, read a story, sing a nursery rhyme, very gently.”
A – “Have you spoke to the parents to see if anything has changed at home that may have caused the change in behaviour ?”
A – “Maybe try a persona doll they work well for children who are struggling to understand and control their feelings!”
A – “I’m with some of the comments, & also that @ the moment only one person deals with any situations that may occur with this child. With the usual getting down to their level, also not too much eye contact, side on can help, sooth voice, short sentences. Distraction from the situation straight off, eg ooh can you hear the birds? Or if really kicking off, again in sooth but firm voice, taken to a area neutral, “when you’re ready,” “I’m not cross/angry with you” ” just want to know what’s happened”