Very young children will often use aggression, defiance, and other behaviors as they work to build skills such as flexibility, frustration tolerance, and problem-solving, and learn appropriate language and social skills. During the past 30 years, child guidance practice has moved away from reactive, negative approaches to proactive, positive ones.

When educators practice positive child guidance, they act as a coach to help children solve a problem. The goal of positive behavior support is not to “fix” the child with behavioral challenges, it’s to “fix” the parts of the learning environment that contribute to the problem behavior. Fixing the environment usually means focusing on prevention and adult intervention skills rather than reacting after behavioral problems have occurred. A reactive approach that implements negative consequences does not work.


First Circle’s child guidance policy concentrates on prevention and skill-building rather than punishment and is designed to help children develop socially acceptable ways of expressing their needs and feelings. We help them: