Most of us have strong opinions on how to guide our
children's behaviour. Unfortunately, these opinions often focus
on stopping the inappropriate behaviour and neglect to give
significant emphasis to helping children learn new, more
appropriate ways to behave. People who work with young children
have a golden opportunity and an awesome responsibility to help
children learn to make appropriate behaviour choices which, in
turn, can lead to enhanced self-esteem and self-discipline.
To be effective, discipline for young children must be in
place before the rules are broken. As a process of guidance,
discipline can be divided into two major components: indirect
and direct. In the area of indirect guidance, we need to look at
the organization of the environment to encourage autonomy and to
empower children. As well, we need to look at the people -- the
teachers -- who nurture and help children learn.
parents worry about their children’s active, noisy behaviour and
tantrums. Sometimes it can be hard to work out whether a child’s
behaviour is normal, or the sign of a behavioural disorder.
Tantrums are not usually anything to worry about.
They’re a way of expressing frustration and most children have
them in their early years (from age one to four). They can be
loud and violent, and it's normal to find them upsetting or
Sometimes, if you can tell your child is
about to have a tantrum, you may be able to distract her by
getting her to look at something or giving a favourite toy.
Young children, especially those aged five and
below, are often energetic, noisy and excitable. Usually this
liveliness is quite normal.
Sometimes, active and noisy
children can be quite a handful, talking all the time, not doing
as they’re told and seeming very restless. This kind of
overactive behaviour is more usual among boys. Although this can
be hard to deal with, it’s only when a child’s behaviour is
extreme that it suggests a behavioural disorder.
All children are naughty - scribbling on walls,
fighting with siblings, cheekiness and ignoring requests are all
part and parcel of growing up. Sometimes this behaviour is
isolated to one-off incidents, or it may be a phase your child
is going through.
Naughty behaviour may be caused by your child testing your
reaction to find out what's allowed or triggered by a change in
her environment (eg worries about school). It may be down to
jealousy of a sibling or it may be a way to attract your
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