Discovering behavioural issues in your preschooler can be concerning. From defiance to lying and rule-breaking, a range of problems might emerge. So, how do you handle such situations effectively?
Children at this age often express their feelings and thoughts through their behaviour. It's not uncommon for a once cooperative child to occasionally display challenging behaviour. When deciding on a disciplinary approach, consider the potential underlying causes of the behaviour.
Here, we delve into the four most common behavioural challenges and offer proactive solutions:
The Truth Stretchers
Young preschoolers may not fully grasp the concept of lying. Their world is still a blend of reality and imagination. When they deny colouring on the wall with a crayon in hand, it's often because they wish they hadn't done it—realising parents are upset. Teaching honesty is crucial, rather than punishing them for not understanding the distinction. Valuing truth helps children strive for honesty.
Dealing with Whining
Preschoolers strive for independence and might resort to whining and begging if denied. This behaviour doesn't necessarily indicate stubbornness or spoiling. It's a way for them to express tiredness, hunger, or frustration. Ignoring whining reinforces limits and deters the behaviour.
Around 30% of preschoolers face emotional regulation difficulties. Impulsivity often arises from an inability to comprehend emotions. Teaching self-regulation skills can guide them to manage their feelings constructively. Encourage coping strategies that allow them to express anger or sadness without resorting to aggression.
Bullying, even in preschool, can occur through exclusion or teasing. If your child is a target, create an open channel of communication. Empower them to assert themselves, inform teachers, and practise handling bullying scenarios.
Cultivating Character for Life
There's no instant fix for behaviour; it requires nurturing character. Building metacognition—being aware of thoughts, feelings, and actions—is pivotal. This is part of the 16 Habits of Mind, promoting intelligent behaviour. Guiding children in their early years helps them overcome future challenges. Remember, a challenging child isn't a permanent problem but a child in need of guidance.
For comprehensive assistance with pre-school behavioural challenges, explore our strategies and set the stage for lifelong character development.
Your child's journey to positive growth starts now with Sunbird Child Care!