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1 Infant & Toddler Group Care Understanding Children’s Behavior

2 Learning Objectives Participants will: Describe ways in which culture influences how one views behaviors as “ideal” and acceptable or not. Name and use the 5 root causes of infant/toddler behaviors to analyze scenarios. Describe various alternative adult responses to the children’s behaviors.

3 What are the behaviors of your ideal child? ActiveApproachingHonestPersistentIndependent QuietCuriousCautiousConfidentTakes Risks LoyalPlayfulSensitiveCooperativeDependable ObedientAssertiveSpiritedConfidentPredictable IndustriousSense of HumorQuiet Asks Questions Independent

4 What is your “IDEAL” child? In small groups, compare your list with your discussion partners. Note matches and differences across the lists in your group.

5 The Flip Side … Behaviors That You Find Challenging? Visualize a behavior you find particularly challenging. Describe the behavior in two or three words to your table partners. Discuss why the behavior bothers you.

6 Annoying Behavior? Most behavior of young children that annoys adults is normal and part of the child’s development. Adults can save themselves concern and trouble if they understand the cause(s) and the purpose(s) of each behavior concerned.

7 Five Possible Causes of Behavior Developmental stage Individual differences The environment (home and child care settings) Child doesn’t know – but is ready to learn Unmet physical or emotional need

8 First Possible Cause: The Developmental Stage What is happening? Maturation Practicing necessary aspect of mastery and human development How can I tell?

9 Second Possible Cause: Individual Differences What is happening? Each child is different Temperamental or constitutional qualities Unique physiology How can I tell?

10 Third Possible Cause: The Environment What is happening? Child care setting Family home setting How can I tell? What should I do?

11 Fourth Possible Cause: The Child Does Not Know, But Is Ready to Learn What is happening? Child does not know something, but is ready to learn How can I tell?

12 Fifth Possible Cause: Unmet Physical or Emotional Need What is happening? Missed out on something developmentally and emotionally important. Searching ways to meet emotional needs. How can I tell?

13 Activity: What Do I Do? In small groups, read the assigned scenario and answer the following questions: What is the unacceptable behavior? Why is it unacceptable? What are possible causes? What are appropriate teacher responses? How might the child respond to the teacher’s actions?

14 Rocky was born prematurely. He has been in child care for over a month, and staff are getting frustrated, because he cries whenever they put him down. Rocky’s mother has been very sick and in the hospital, and his father is trying to take care of him and his older siblings, in addition to going to the hospital each day. Rocky’s crying seems to be getting more intense and more frequent.

15 Bella is 18 months old. She has a feisty personality. Teachers have noticed a pattern of behavior, that when they move from one area to another, Bella reaches out and bites whichever child is closest to her.

16 Joaquin is new to your program. His mother reports that he has always startled at loud noises, cries when someone new enters the room, and doesn’t like new foods. There is a new caregiver in the program, and Joaquin won’t let her change his diaper, feed him, or put him to sleep.

17 Tracy is 18 months old. You have a couch in the corner of the room that you use for a quiet area, reading books and doing finger play. Tracy is using the couch differently -- he is climbing on the couch, climbing over to the other side, or climbing on, then standing up and jumping to the floor.

18 Jasmine is 10 months old and has been eating strained food for several months, and has also been reaching for finger foods and eating using her fingers. You have introduced applesauce to her lunch, and she is trying to feed herself the applesauce with her fingers.

19 Small Group Reports: “What Do I Do?” Present your scenario to the large group and your proposed strategies to help the child described.

20 Key to Understanding Children’s Behavior: “When we understand the reasons for infant and toddler behavior, we can respond to it in ways that support children’s healthy growth and development and simultaneously decrease our worry and frustration. Infants and toddlers are working hard to understand their new feelings and ideas, to figure out their worlds, and to learn how to interact with other children and adults.” Janis Keyser, MA. Socialization and Guidance of Infants and Toddlers, Concepts for Care

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