Managing challenging behavior
SUGGESTED GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS AND NANNIES
Tibetan Care recommends that parents and nannies read and discuss the below information on managing challenging behavior for children 0 to 18 months old.
The New York Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) encourages caregivers to carefully observe and document any negative behavior. If challenging behaviors are noticed, the parent and nanny should create an action plan, which may include changing the child’s schedule or something in the environment.
NOTE: The OCFS also recommends that behavioral problems be managed using positive guidance rather than discipline. Guidance involves setting clear, consistent limits that have reasons. Unlike punishment, Guidance fosters self-esteem and independence.
FIND OUT WHAT’S BEHIND THE NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR
All behaviors exhibited by children have purpose and are a form of communication.
- Is she avoiding something, some place or someone?
- Is she uncomfortable, hungry, tired or not feeling well
- Is she having a reaction to medication or food?
- Is she angry, sad, anxious or scared
- Is she confused, bored or frustrated
- Does she want to get away from something or someone?
- Do she want to get something?
- Does she like the way this negative behavior feels?
Common challenging Behaviors and How to Deal with Them
CRYING (advice for babies)
- Respond to the child’s needs in a calm, tender and respectful fashion
- Make sure the baby's basic needs are all met (she may be tired, gassy, too hot or cold, hungry or sick)
- Making a calming sound (e.g. say 'shhh" or sing gently to the child; you can also try using white noise like a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer
- Reassure child by holding her close to you
- Try to reduce stimulation in the room
- Gently rock the child
- Give her outside time in fresh air
SEPARATION ANXIETY (often occurs around 1st birthday)
- Speak with child in calm, reassuring voice
- Maintaining good eye contact
- Engaging the child with her favorite book, toy or activity
- When leaving the house, parents should should tell child they are leaving and will return at a specific time
- Parents should establish a ”goodbye” ritual (e.g. ”One kiss and a goodbye hug from mommy before leaving”)
- Parents should not try to "slip out" in the morning.
- Nannies should tell parents how long it takes the child to calm down after they have left.
WARINESS OF STRANGERS AND OTHER FEARS/ANXIETIES
- Provide comfort and security
- Reassure her and show respect for her fears (i.e. do not say it is silly or wrong to have fear of strangers)
GENERAL GUIDELINES for nannies and parents
- Always try to meet the child’s needs in a consistent and timely manner
- Regular routines help the child know what to expect!