It is often said that “behavior is communication.” When a child exhibits negative behavior, it is important to stop and consider WHAT the child is trying to communicate. Are they trying to avoid a request or task? Are they irritable because they are tired or hungry? Are they acting out because they want attention (and even negative attention is still attention)? Every child exhibits negative behaviors from time to time. It’s the response to these behaviors that affects how likely these behaviors will be repeated.
There are several things parents can do to increase positive behaviors:
There are also strategies to decrease negative behaviors: