Wednesday-Critter Moment: Addressing Challenging Behavior


What Does Behavior Communicate-Really?

Think of a student you have who seems to engage in the same challenging behavior over and over.  Young children’s behavior is a fast and powerful communication tool used to tell you what s/he needs or wants.

Children continue to use a behavior because it works!  Children will use challenging behavior to communicate until they learn new, more appropriate ways to express their wants and needs.  It happens when they don’t have the appropriate language or social skills to achieve the same purpose.

  • Are they trying to get something?
  • Are they trying to avoid something?


Next time you are frustrated by a challenging behavior (“Why does s/he keep doing that?”), ask yourself what the child is trying to communicate.  It may not be what it seems…

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