Solve preschool problems proactively.

How to Speak to Your Child About Bad Behavior in Preschool

by Kathryn Hatter

Oh, the mortification when your little one's teacher approaches you about a behavior problem that's occurring at preschool! After you gulp and get through this conversation, it's time to have another one -- with your child. Approach your youngster calmly and supportively to figure what is motivating the negative behavior. With the right techniques, you can resolve the issues positively to help your child succeed.

1 Choose a time to talk to your child when you're both feeling calm and when you don't have other distractions going on. Make sure you have enough time to sit with your child without rushing or feeling stressed.

2 Ask questions of your child to see how he's feeling. Assume the misbehavior has a reason and try to find out what's bothering your child, advises the PBS Parents website.You might say, "How has school been for you this week? Is everything going okay with Ms. Lorenz? Do you feel happy when you're at school?" These questions might encourage your child to express any negative feelings he has.

3 Listen to your child's answers to discern how she feels and to learn about any underlying issues. Pay attention to what she says about teachers and peers. Your little one might complain about a teacher if she's been reprimanded or disciplined by the teacher, warns the Seattle Children's Hospital. Ask for specifics about situations to learn your child's perspective. You may also hear about conflicts or problems with peers. Again, ask questions and listen to your child to understand her perspective.

4 Tell your child that you have learned about misbehavior that happened at school and invite him to tell you about it. Tell your child that you want to understand what happened and assure him that you will listen carefully as he explains what happened. Always remain calm and composed as you discuss potentially difficult situations with your child so he will feel secure and calm, too.

5 Explain the problem with your child's behavior so she understands the issue. For example, you might say, "Ms. Lorenz is worried because it seems like you are having trouble sharing with the other kids. I know it can be hard to let others have turns, but we really need to try to share and take turns. The next time you have trouble wanting to share, look around the room for help. Maybe you can do something else or maybe Ms. Lorenz can help you. OK?" Teaching your child self-redirection can help her manage her behavior more successfully, advises the Parenting.org website.

6 End the conversation positively. Tell your child that you know he will succeed and that you have confidence in him. Give him a hug and find something positive to do together that will increase his security, such as reading together or playing a game.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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