Caregiver of 3 Year Old Wants To Know How To Manage Aggressive Behavior

Dear Debi,
I care for a 3-year-old girl who acts out with other children when she wants what they are playing with. What can I do to help her?
– Audrey, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Ann Corwin, The Parenting Doctor Advice for Debbie

Discipline is a way of teaching. When you use positive discipline, for example, you will stop a negative behavior and teach the child what you’d like him to do. Punishing the child will stop the negative behavior, but it will not teach him the right thing to do.

The child will continue misbehaving because he hasn’t been presented with another option. That’s why positive discipline is so affective.

That is why you need to make a point of praising acceptable behavior, especially if the children are playing nicely and quietly. Most providers prefer not to interrupt them at that stage, but it comes off as if you were ignoring them. If you ignore someone who’s doing what you want them to do, they’ll immediately change their behavior.

So when you praise the children, don’t be so dramatic, because it can be disruptive. Just move your body closer to theirs and make eye contact; you’ll see that nice quiet behavior will happen more often.Hope this helps… Dr. Ann