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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


July 2006 | 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

Teachers are experts 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 behavioural 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 behaviours and needs. In an engaging, conversational tone, the book covers:

• Reconciling the different behavioural expectations of families and schools

• Applying timeout effectively

• Motivating children immediately and powerfully

• Establishing and following through with boundaries

• Developing behaviour incentive plans that work

• Identifying early signs of depression, anxiety, grief, and special needs

Through informed practice, teachers can bring about positive behavioural 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

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Chapter 1


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