Why are some children more challenging than others?
ECE 201 Intro to Early Childhood Behavior Management
Instructor: Shealiah Jordan
December 15, 2014
Every child has a different personality, no child is the same. I have three children and each one has different personality trait. As an educator, we first have to understand how a child’s development works. This is how a children grows, develops, and learn. Brault states that nature, and nurture work together to shape a child, knowing what a typical behavior for a child’s age is important (Brault, Linda and Tom Brault., 2005). Younger children find it hard to communicate so this is when they turn to hitting, biting, and spitting to get their point across. Other children use a challenging behavior—perhaps because of their adverse life experiences—often lack the skills required to process incoming information properly, and they tend to see the world with a jaundiced eye (Dodge, 2006). As an Educator we need to take the time to find out why a child is behaving a certain way. We could find many ways to understand the child’s behavior and why they are doing what they are doing. There are many factors that influence a child’s behavior, First would be genes and environment. These go hand and hand, because there are many elements that interact with one another in complex ways. Sorting out the influence of genes from the influence of the environment is extremely difficult. (Rasminsky 19). Genes influence how parents bring up their children. Genes also affect the responses that children get from those around them. An for example would be; a child who is irritable seems to make everyone else ill-humored, too; a child who hits and bites her brother almost automatically elicits harsh discipline from any adult in charge (Deater-Deckard & Cahill, 2006). When a child is in the right environmental intervention that are at the right time, even a trait that has a strong genetic foundation can be altered, (Rasminsky 19). The environment can have an amazing impact on behaviors. Early educators have learned that a simply change to the environment can help correct a behavior. An environment that has balance with contrast, there is space for large and small group activities, and space for children to have quiet time. According to the ecological systems theory of Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979), everything in a child’s environment, their family, their peers, childcare center or school, the neighborhood, poverty level, even their exposure to violence from the media and society. These will influence their development and can present a risk for challenging behaviors. In this section we’ve arranged these factors as if each could stand alone, starting with the closest to the child and moving to the most distant, but the truth is that all of these elements overlap and interact continually. (Rasminsky 30) Family factor and parenting styles play a huge part in a child’s behavior. Families play such a vital role in their child’s development. A parent under stress can sometime become abusive. It can begin with a relatively trivial demand, like a parent asking a child to do or not do something, the child ignores the request or refuses to comply. Then the parent responds more aggressively, scolding, or pleading with the child, who then again refuses, by whining and talking back. The exchanges escalate to yelling and threats, hitting and temper tantrums, until the parent finally gives up and gives in or explodes into violence—and then the child stops, too. (Rasminsky 32). As educators working together with the family can help the parents feel that you care about their child. Giving the parents resources to help with challenging behavior, can help. It is important to remember, that a parent and the child’s interaction is a two-way thing. The child’s temperament will strongly influences the people in her life will react to them. Each parent responds according to his or...
References: Brault, Linda and Thomas.(2005) Children with Challenging Behavior; Strategies for Reflective Thinking. Phoenix, AZ: CPG Publishing Company.
Kaiser, B. & Sklar Rasminsky, J. (2012). Challenging behavior in young children. (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.
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