I'm about to Burst! Managing Children's Behavior


Sometimes managing our little one's behaviour can be a tricky task! Here are a few of our techniques we use in setting that you can try out at home ... 

  • Distraction - staff will redirect children to help and guide them away from 'fuss'. Staff will look for triggers in children and have distractions ready. It is a particularly helpful technique for trigger times, busy times and transitions.

  • Short Specific Instructions - Staff will use developmental age as a guide when they are giving instructions. Staff will use a child's name first to get their attention and wait for the child to acknowledge this. Staff will keep instructions positive, for example "time for a story. Staff will use a visual point or gentle tap to help a child "cue-in". Staff will not use the word please as it gives the child an opportunity to respond no. Instead they will use "I need you to...". Staff will always say thankyou as soon as the child follows their instruction. Staff will praise the action specifically such as "smart sitting", "good walking".

  • Choices - Staff will give two closed choices when giving instructions. They will be real and positive choices. For example, "red or blue chair?" of point "sitting here or here?". Staff will never use choices as consequences. Staff will not allow children to add another choice. Staff can use humour to distract and support children to make a choice if needed. Staff will say "you choose or Ill choose" if a child is unable to make a decision.

  • Visuals - Staff have the option to use a first and then board or black and white visual cards. All rooms have a visual routine of the day, these are split into morning and afternoon so children know and understand the order of the day. Staff will ensure that the visual is removed once it has been completed. Staff refer to the signs and symbols regularly throughout the day.

  • Positive Language - Staff tell the children what they would like them to do in a positive way - for example, "good walking", "smart sitting", "good listening". Staff will not tell children "don't run" or "don't climb" as these statements are more likely to do these things.

  • Turn Taking - Where a child is struggling to share, a staff member will intervene. The staff member will 'look after' the object. The staff member will reassure both children and will not blame either child. The staff member will explain that they will use a rhyme to decide who's turn it will be for five minutes. After the five minutes the other child will have their turn. Staff will use an "ip, dip do" rhyme. The staff member will never leave the child who didn't win the turn, they will always offer to support or play with them with something else.

  • Timed Warnings - This is used when it is time for the children to stop what they are doing and do something different such as circle time, lunch time, tidy up time. Staff will give the children a 5-minute notification, then 3 minutes then 1 minute. Followed by "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" its time to.... Staff will always ensure this is in real time. Children that we know struggle with transitions will be given personal notifications.

  • One warning - staff will only give children one warning. Staff must ensure that if they have issued a warning to a child, they let their colleagues know so that children aren't given multiple warnings. If further negative behaviour is displayed a consequence will be in place. This technique is used for more challenging behaviour.