ME + YOU: learning about myself and those around me

Teach prosocial skills

Prosocial skills help or benefit another individual or the group. The 3 main prosocial behaviors for young children are helping, sharing, and cooperating.. Here are ways to help children learn prosocial behavior, which will help prevent challenging behavior:

Help children negotiate conflict

Teachers need to help children develop negotiating skills to handle conflicts. Children use social problem-solving skills to resolve issues in a matter that benefits them and is acceptable to others. Here are 6 suggested steps for teaching conflict resolution:

  1. Identify and define the conflict.
  2. Invite children to participate in solving the problem.
  3. Work together to generate possible solutions.
  4. Examine each idea for how well it might work.
  5. Help children with plans to implement the solution.
  6. Follow up to evaluate how well the solution worked.

Use the classroom

Prepare the classroom environment to best help children learn prosocial skills. Here are some ideas:


Self-regulation is the ability to internally regulate one’s own behavior rather than depending on others to enforce it. Self-control helps children learn, supports their growth and development, and is fundamental to creating social order. Children demonstrate self-control when they

  1. control their impulses, wait, and suspend action,
  2. tolerate frustration,
  3. postpone immediate gratification, and
  4. initiate a plan and carry it out over time.

As educators, our ultimate goal is to teach children to manage their own behavior. Teaching children to self-manage increases the likelihood that appropriate behavior will last. It allows teachers to spend more time teaching and less time trying to control behavior. Here are 4 suggested strategies: