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Difficult Behavior in Early Childhood
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Difficult Behavior in Early Childhood
Positive Discipline for PreK-3 Classrooms and Beyond

First Edition


© 2007 | 176 pages | Corwin

"Teachers of young children will feel validated by this book that explains the issues underlying behaviors that challenge us on a daily basis and shows how to address them effectively."
-Xiomara Sánchez, NBCT, Dual Language Pre-K Teacher, Darwin Elementary School, Chicago, IL

"Covers the breadth of children's behaviors that teachers are likely to see, and describes the major motivators for them very well. The examples and scenarios are highly interesting, meaningful, and transferable to classroom practice."
-Gail Hardesty, Early Reading First Mentor, Chicago Public Schools, IL

Increase your understanding of children to guide and shape behavior in positive ways!

Teachers are masterful in balancing the diverse backgrounds, social-emotional needs, and academic goals of children in their classroom-that is, if they can only get them to sit still, pay attention, keep their hands off of each other (or out of the fish tank), or a host of other effective aggravations! But creating a classroom of attentive learners takes more than swift discipline-it involves helping children make good behavioral choices by developing their self-control rather than controlling them to make the choices we prefer.

Difficult Behavior in Early Childhood offers insight into understanding why certain children behave in certain ways, so teachers can react appropriately to individual behaviors and needs. In an engaging, conversational tone, the book covers:

  • Reconciling the different behavioral expectations of families and schools
  • Applying timeout effectively
  • Motivating children immediately and powerfully
  • Establishing and following through with boundaries
  • Developing behavior incentive plans that work
  • Identifying early signs of depression, anxiety, grief, and special needs

Through informed practice, teachers can bring about positive behavioral change and healthy, productive development.

 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
Part I. The Role of Discipline
 
1. Discipline in Classrooms, Families, and Society
Communities That Affect Children’s Development  
Family Expectations and Classroom Expectations  
Discipline From the Inside Out  
Practice Makes Better  
Appropriate Discipline Develops Social Competence  
Chapter Highlights  
 
Part II. Time and Using Timeout
 
2. Before Timeout: Understanding Children’s Sense of Time
Children’s Sense of Time  
Making Time Relevant to Children  
Or Else!  
When There Isn’t One “Best” Choice  
Likability, Validation, Acceptance, and Connection  
Unconditional Love and Conditional Acceptance  
Chapter Highlights  
 
3. Three Common Uses of Timeout and Why They Fail to Work
Theory 1. The "Suffering" Theory of Timeout  
Theory 2. The "Think About It" Theory of Timeout  
Theory 3. The “How Would You Like It If…” Theory of Timeout  
Chapter Highlights  
 
4.The Community Theory of Timeout That Works
The Three Rules of Community  
The Gift of Timeout  
Chapter Highlights  
 
5. Applying Timeout Effectively
Begin With Basic Boundaries and Instructions  
Return to Timeout  
Timeout Again?  
Timeout in Perspective  
Moving From Timeout to a Plan: Doing Something Differently  
Chapter Highlights  
 
Part III. Setting and Following Through With Boundaries
 
6. Boundaries: The Foundation for Growth and Change
Block Negative Behaviors First  
Clarify Boundaries and Consequences  
Ambiguity Won’t Work  
Chapter Highlights  
 
7. Follow-Through and Consistency
Follow Through With Verbal and Nonverbal Messages  
Be More Stubborn Than Your Students  
Constantly and Consistently Reinforce Behavior  
Beyond Boundaries, Consequences, Follow-Through, and Consistency  
Chapter Highlights  
 
Part IV. Punishment, Praise, and Rewards
 
8. How and Why Punishment Works—and Doesn't Work
Motivation to Misbehave  
Immunity to Punishment  
Intensification and Abusive Behavior  
Admitting It’s Time for a Change  
Discipline Is More Than Punishment Alone  
Chapter Highlights  
 
9. The Effective and Judicious Uses of Praise
Praise the Person, Not the Behavior  
Self-Awareness of Achievement: The True Reward  
Attention, Appreciation, and Material Rewards  
Chapter Highlights  
 
10. The Most Important Lesson of Choices
A Multiple-Choice World  
Rewarding Children for Meeting Expectations  
Consequences for Poor Choices Are Necessary  
Reasonable and Unreasonable Behaviors  
Reflecting on Your Own Choices  
Chapter Highlights  
 
11. Motivating Reward Systems: Key Issues and Effective Principles
Rewards as a Part of the Process, Not the Total Process  
A Reward System Cannot Become a Punishment System  
Principles of an Effective Reward System  
Chapter Highlights  
 
12. Rewards-Only Behavior Plans
"Rewards-Only" Means Just That  
Basic Terms of the Plan  
Make the Plan Practical  
Success in One Area of Behavior Transfers to Other Areas  
Chapter Highlights  
 
13. Connecting Goals to Motivating Rewards
Defining Goals and Rewards  
Choosing Quantifiable Goals  
Defining and Quantifying Desirable Behaviors  
Short-Term, Midterm, and Long-Term Goals  
Goals That Involve Time Frames  
Remember, No Punishments  
Children Should Choose Their Rewards (Within Reason)  
Age-Appropriate and Individually Tailored Rewards  
Rewarding Consistency With Bonuses  
Examples of Rewards-Only Incentive Plans  
Always Follow Through  
Chapter Highlights  
 
Part V. Recognizing and Responding to Specific Behaviors and Emotions
 
14. When There Is More to It: Helping Children With Deeper Issues
Happy Children Act Out Too  
Is This an Angry Child?  
Is This a Sad Child?  
Is This a Fearful or Anxious Child?  
Is This a Child Who Is Holding Unprocessed Pain or Loss?  
Is This a Child Who May Need a Referral to a Specialist?  
Chapter Highlights  
 
Conclusion: Now What?
Asking Questions  
From Observations to Results  
Be a Teaching Artist  
 
References
 
Index

"Covers the breadth of children's behaviors that teachers are likely to see, and describes the major motivators for them very well. The examples and scenarios are highly interesting, meaningful, and transferable to classroom practice."

Gail Hardesty, Mentor
Chicago Public Schools, IL

"Teachers of young children will feel validated by this book that explains the issues underlying behaviors that challenge us on a daily basis and shows how to address them effectively."

Xiomara Sánchez, NBCT, Dual Language Pre-K Teacher
Darwin Elementary School, Chicago, IL

"Learning to manage children's behavior is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Children tend to act out at inopportune moments, and the rest of the class is always watching to see how the teacher responds to an individual child's behavior. This invaluable resource goes a long way toward helping teachers develop practical strategies for effective classroom management."

Marilyn Karp, Editor-in-Chief
Early Childhood Teachers' Club

"The flow of the book is smooth and easy to grasp. The vignettes, discussions, and practical suggestions are true-to-life and applicable."

Dimensions of Early Childhood, Spring/Summer 2007
Southern Early Childhood Association

"I am thoroughly impressed. As an early childhood educator and administrator, I felt this book provided a realistic description of behavior in children of this age. This is an excellent resource to use as a staff development tool. There are useful tips, but most of all, it makes you think about each child and how your interactions are so crucial."

Denise Humphries, Preschool Principal
John F. Kennedy American School, Queretaro, Mexico
Key features
  • Disciplining techniques that take into account the whole child in the context of family and community
  • Insight into motivating children immediately and powerfully
  • Suggestions for responding to and redirecting anger
  • Instructions for setting and following through with boundaries
  • Ways to identify early signs of depression, anxiety, grief, and/or special needs 
  • Detailed information on developing behavior incentive plans

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter 1


Preview this book

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