Behavior Strategies & Resources
When our children demonstrate challenging behavior, it can be very overwhelming. Often we find ourselves managing behavior in the short term, rather than making changes for long-term improvement. Here you will find resources to help in better understanding challenging behavior and strategies to make lasting change.
Understanding Challenging Behavior
Behavior is communication and serves a purpose. To reduce challenging behavior, we must first determine what purpose, or function, the behavior serves for the child. Some common functions of challenging behavior include:
- to gain attention (positive or negative)
- to get access to an item or activity
- to escape a non-preferred task or activity
Once we have determined the purpose the behavior serves, we can make changes to help the child learn more appropriate behaviors to meet their needs and wants. We can also be mindful not to unintentionally reinforce the negative behavior.
It is important to understand that sometimes challenging behavior can be related to other needs your child may have. Check out our other resources for more information.
Teaching Skills to Reduce Challenging Behavior
Challenging behavior does not just go away. Instead, it must be replaced with new behavior. Our goal is to teach our children positive behaviors to replace challenging behaviors. As with any skill, it is important to explain, model, practice, and reinforce the desired skill consistently. Below are some examples of skills you may help your child learn to reduce challenging behavior.