Individualized Intensive Interventions
Talking with Families about Problem Behavior:
Dos and Donts
- Do: Begin the discussion by expressing concern about the child.
- Do: Let the parent know that your goal is to help the child.
- Do: Ask the parent if he or she has experienced similar situations and are concerned.
- Do: Tell the parent that you want to work with the family to help the child develop appropriate behavior and social skills.
- Do: Tell the parent about what is happening in the classroom, but only after the parent understands that you are concerned about the child, not blaming the family.
- Do: Offer to work with the parent in the development of a behavior support plan that can be used at home and in the classroom.
- Do: Emphasize that your focus will be to help the child develop the skills needed to be successful in the classroom. The child needs instruction and support.
- Do: Stress that if you can work together, you are more likely to be successful in helping the child learn new skills.
- Don't: Begin the discussion by indicating that the childs behavior is not tolerable.
- Don't: Indicate that the child must be punished or dealt with by the parent.
- Don't: Ask the parent if something has happened at home to cause the behavior.
- Don't: Indicate that the parent should take action to resolve the problem at home.
- Don't: Initiate the conversation by listing the childs challenging behavior. Discussions about challenging behavior should be framed as the child is having a difficult time, rather than losing control.
- Don't: Leave it up to the parent to manage problems at home; develop a plan without inviting family participation.
- Don't: Let the parent believe that the child needs more discipline.
- Don't: Minimize the importance of helping the family understand and implement positive behavior support.
This material was developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Cooperative Agreement N. PHS 90YD0119). The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial projects, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. You may reproduce this material for training and information purposes.
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