When one or more children engage in negative behaviours, it interrupts the whole flow of activities around them. The adult has to deal with the problem behaviour and thus is diverting attention away from the other children or the activities children are engaged in.
For example, by the time Janet realized that there was a problem, a full-blown temper tantrum occurred. The rest of the children in the family home childcare stopped playing and watched. One little girl also started to cry. The tranquility of the morning’s activity has been shattered.
Following the 5 simple steps could have easily prevented this temper tantrum.
Step 1 - Observe
Janet needed to carefully observe all the children under her care. She needed to position herself so that she could always keep all the children in view and to periodically scan the room to identify any potential problems. Had she done so, she might have noticed the following potential problem.
Step 2 - Have Children Identify the Problem
Janet should have immediately gone over to the two boys and asked them to identify what the problem was in a calm and pleasant voice. Each child is thus given a chance to calm down as each focuses on answering the questions.
Step 3 - Have Children Identify Possible Solutions
Janet needed to let each child explain what the problem was. The scenario might have played out as follows. Jeremy might have responded that he had had the dog first. Josh might have answered that he needed the dog to finish his puzzle. Janet would then have asked the boys how they think they might solve this problem. Jeremy might have thought that Josh could have the dog to finish his puzzle. Josh might have indicated that he would give the dog back when he had finished the puzzle.
Step 4 - Reinforce Subsequent Positive Behaviours
Janet would then reinforce the positive behaviour. Janet might have respond by saying, “I think you found a good solution.” Janet should have continued to watch for a while, giving nods of approval as she watched.
Step 5 - Be Consistent
Janet needs to be consistent. These types of behaviours need to be dealt with consistently so that the child learns to know what is expected and can learn to control his or her own behaviour.