Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education
All children sometimes have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior. This is a skill that children need to learn, like any other skill, such as learning their colors, and how to read. They learn it through watching the adults their lives and their peers. Here at Peninsula Children’s Center we support children’s social and emotional health utilizing a guidance model called Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS). The focus of this model is to build positive relationships with young children and teach skills to help them manage their behavior in an appropriate manner. Our teachers use techniques such as clear expectations, logical consequences, redirection, positive phrases, and modeling to help children achieve their goals. We also help children identify their emotions, and teach them coping skills when they become overwhelmed by their emotions.
These PBIS techniques are easy for families to incorporate into daily routines at home as well. A great place to start is to make sure that children have clear expectations. Clearly and simply state what you expect your child to do. When given clear guidelines, children will usually be able to do what is expected without confusion. This can be achieved by using age appropriate rules and appropriate language. Simple language is best for young children, paired with short, precise directions.
An easy way to teach rules would be to get out your camera and take pictures of what you want your child “to do”. Some children do better with a visual cue about things like meal time, bed time, bath time etc. The best way is to post it, model it, practice it, and notice when it’s done and praise it!
Another activity to practice at home is using statements in a positive manner. For example, instead of saying “Don’t run” you can rephrase that by saying “Walking feet inside. You can run outside later.” Or instead of saying “Don’t hit,” you can say “Gentle touches please.” Remember that children will always respond best to positive phrases and clear directions.
This is just a brief overview of PBIS. If you would like more information you can check out the following website http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/family.html. There is a great deal of information available for parents. If you have any questions about behavior management at Peninsula please feel free to contact one of us. Amber at 503-280-0534, ext. 33 or email@example.com or Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-280-0534, ext. 36.