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  • Pepi M. Silverman

Behavior Is Communication. To Help Kids, Adults Need To Listen

As children develop, they learn how to “live” inside their skin, but that development varies in each child. Through each stage of growth, children emerge by overcoming angst, frustration, and uncertainty. Managing their bodies against their emergent abilities can create a great deal of unrest within them and that can result in difficult behaviors. By acknowledging that behavior is a form of communication, parents and teachers can address behavior by helping them to find a new way to express themselves.

Deciphering the meaning behind behavior can be accomplished by studying the circumstances around that behavior. By employing some helpful strategies, a better understanding can be achieved:

  1. Keep a journal: Document the ABC’s of behavior (Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence).

  2. Use breaks to reflect on behavior: Taking a moment can help build understanding.

  3. Motor activities can be used to release negative energy: Exercise can be a great tool in managing behavior.

  4. Calmness is the key: As children learn to manage their behavior, it is helpful to remain calm in order to provide guidance.

  5. Quiet can be louder than yelling: Supporting children who demonstrate difficult behavior can create intensity for the adults who support them, but by employing a quiet approach, the child’s energy can be redirected effectively.

By taking the time to watch and listen to children’s behavior, supports can be developed to address any problematic behaviors with understanding.


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