The preschool age from 3 to 5 was said to be the ideal age for children to enter school. During this age level, children quickly learn language and start to interact and socialize. At this age level, children are just about beginning to contain some of their challenging behaviors and exhibit self-control. This was also the point where parents along with their other caregivers must partner in addressing the children’s challenging behaviors.
What are challenging behaviors?
Challenging behaviors are said to be those culturally abnormal mannerisms with much intensity, frequency and duration. Challenging behaviors are any of those difficult behaviors we normally experience with toddlers and children. They are most common between the age of 0 to 3 and the so-called preschool years. During this stage, children are trying to struggle in developing and learning self-control and self-regulation.
Managing Challenging Behaviors
As a parent and caregiver of children going into this difficult stage of children’s emotional maturity, you need to be equipped with the right ways on how to respond about it. Proper limitations must be learned and adhered to in order to swing off these difficult manners. Below are some suggestive ideas on how to manage the children’s experiences on their challenging behaviors.
Keep them occupied. Making children engage themselves in activities or things of their interest would help keep off their difficulty and sway off from having their bad day. Just keep in mind to only choose those activities or things that were neither too difficult nor easy so as not to repeat the child’s difficult behavior cycle all over again.
Visualize. Children make it easier to understand if the activities involved contain appropriate visuals for them to better manage their struggles.
Get them involved. Children loved to participate in things. They follow the lead. They will do what you teach them to do. If ever you noticed, they sometimes mimic what you are doing. Without your knowledge they sometimes learn your ways and mannerisms.
Integrate rules. By creating simple rules appropriate to their age, they can easily catch up on how routines will be done correct and with the right values.
Give appropriate options. It is wise to introduce options to your children as a way for them to cope and as remedial measure to their challenging behavior. The options you will give must be appropriate for their age level for them to manage the struggle easier. Explaining the pros and cons and the effect of their actions will greatly help them in taking wise options making them learn to value the option they will take.
Let them have enough & undisturbed rest. One cause of children’s restlessness was due to the fact that they lack sleep and rest. In a study led by Dr. Jodi Mindell, a Philadelphia pediatrician published in the website of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, inadequate and poor quality sleep for children may lead to having difficulty in regulating their moods. Dr. Mindell, suggests the following pattern of restful sleep for the following age levels:
- 3 months - 1 year need about 14 - 15 hours a day.
- 1 – 3 years should sleep for 12 - 14 hours a day.
- 3 – 5 years need 11 – 12 hours of sleep a day.
- 6 – 12 years require sleep for 10 – 11 hours a day.
- 12 – 18 years should sleep between 8.5 – 9.5 hours a day.
The children’s challenging behaviors were often defense mechanisms for them to handle a situation. Teaching them how to manage and contain these difficult stages will not only make them conquer their emotional episodes but will likewise make them well and be better children. Through this practice of making them control and manage their challenging behaviors as they go through every stage in their lives lead them to handle their problems and emotions easily and be better individuals.