Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

PBS Parents on PBS.org shares some important facts about behaviors and how parents can help their child behave.  Below is a summary of the 5 facts.  Click here to read the full article and to get other helpful educational, social and behavioral information to support your child in school.

  1. All behavior is a form of communication.  Everybody communicates through behavior, from babies to adults. A child’s problematic or inappropriate behavior is a sign that he is upset and that something is not right.
  2. There is always a reason for problem behavior.  Children may act out their feelings or needs when they do not have the words to express what they want.
  3. There can be many reasons behind one specific behavior. Challenging behaviors arise when children are trying to tell adults that things are not okay, especially if they have tried several times to communicate their needs to adults, but their needs remain unmet.
  4. Adults can learn to understand and interpret children’s challenging behavior. Adults can help the child by figuring out the meaning behind their behavior and providing consistent and caring support with compassionate limit setting.
  5. Children’s challenging behavior can be reduced with support, not punishment. Once adults understand what children are communicating through their behavior, they can help them get their needs met and teach them how to communicate what they need more appropriately. When children have their needs met, there is no longer a reason to use challenging behavior to communicate. When adults help children find positive ways to communicate their needs to others, children learn important social and problem-solving skills that will help them throughout their life.