Eastern Connecticut State University
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Early Childhood Education
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Guiding Young Children's Behavior

Segment 5: Responding to Behavior Problems and Resolving Conflicts


Despite teachers' best efforts to create a positive classroom environment, young children will still misbehave, because they lack self-control and social understanding. How early childhood teachers respond to inappropriate behavior can promote social development. This segment explores four different responses teachers can use when children break rules and also discusses the importance of modeling appropriate behavior. 


View a transcript of this video.


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Questions to Answer After Viewing Videos

  • How might you use redirection with a child who is throwing blocks? How might you use redirection with a child who is tearing the pages of a book?
  • Think about a time when you might have used simple, positive reminders to guide a child’s behavior. What was the child doing? What could you have said to use both steps for simple, positive reminders?
  • How is the conflict resolution process described in the videos different from what you do now? Which steps do you already use? Which new ones will you try?
  • What are some specific social skills you are working on right now with the children in your class? How could you use modeling as a strategy for teaching children those skills?

Additional Web Resources on Responding to Behavior Problems and Resolving Conflicts

  • Finch, C., & Wirtanen, L. (2000). Children and conflict: An opportunity to learning in the early childhood classroom (DVD and 3-book set). Available from naeyc.org.
  • Kaiser, B., & Rasminsky, J. S. (2003). Challening behavior in young children: Understanding, preventing, and responding effectively. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Kreidler, W., & Whittall, S. (1996).  Early childhood adventures in peacemaking: A conflict resolution activity guide for early childhood educators. Boston: Educators for Social Responsibility.
  • Wheeler, E. (2004). Conflict resolution in early childhood: Helping children understand, manage, and resolve conflicts.  Columbus, OH: Merrill Publishing Co.  
  • Wichert, S. (1998). Keeping the peace: Practicing cooperation and conflict resolution with preschoolers. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

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