The best way to address challenging behavior in young children is to decrease the likelihood it will occur.


Learn about the individual child and their family to better understand how the child reacts and responds to situations, people, stimuli, and cues.


Developmentally appropriate practice is especially important in behavior management. Have realistic expectations for a child based on their developmental level. If children knew better, they would do better. Requests should be connected to what children can do (not just what you want them to do).


If the children in a classroom are engaged with interesting activities, they will be less likely to present challenging behaviors.


Setting and reviewing predictable schedules, rules, and routines give children a sense of control. They predict what is coming next, which reduces anxiety and encourages positive behavior.


Children will not learn to follow the rules if you are not consistent in implementing them. When children exhibit unacceptable behavior, consistent consequences should follow so children know what to expect and are less likely to be upset by occasional surprises.