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Recommended Practices Handouts 

The following handouts offer professionals and family members information on evidence-based recommendations for a variety of topics.  Copying and distribution of these documents is encouraged.

Other Handouts

  • Challenging Behavior Fact SheetThe Pyramid Model: PBS in Early Childhood Programs and its Relation to School-wide PBS
    A brief article that defines and explains terms related to Positive Behavior Support (PBS), Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and the Pyramid Model and a discussion of the key areas of similarity and difference between preschool and school-age implementation of a PBS-based multi-tiered systems..
  • Challenging Behavior Fact SheetFacts About Young Children with Challenging Behavior
    Young children with challenging behavior have a significant risk of continued problems, school failure, and social adjustment problems. This fact sheet provides a summary of the research on the significance of the issue, the social costs associated with young children who have challenging behavior, and the importance of early intervention.
  • Pyramid Model HandoutPyramid Model Handout
    This handout illustrates the various levels of the Pyramid Model in a format that is easy to print and ideal for distribution.
  • The Pyramid Model for Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Infants and Young Children Fact SheetThe Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children Fact Sheet
    This four-page fact sheet provides an overview of the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. Specifically, this fact sheet describes the three tiers of intervention practice: universal promotion for all children; secondary preventions to address the intervention needs for children at risk of social emotional delays, and tertiary interventions needed for children with persistent challenges. Additionally, six key assumptions that were made during the design process about how the Pyramid Model would be implemented are outlined.

Brochures and Booklets

  • Program-Wide Positive Behavior SupportProgram-Wide Positive Behavior Support
    This booklet provides a report on the program-wide implementation of the "Teaching Pyramid" within a Head Start Program. The Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP) provides information on the implementation of the model and the outcomes for the children, families, teachers, and program.
  • Positive Solutions for FamiliesPositive Solutions for Families
    This four-page brochure provides parents with eight practical tips they can use when their young children exhibit challenging behavior. Each tip includes a brief explanation and an example to show parents how they might use the specific approach with their own family in everyday life. This product is also available in Spanish.

Papers

  • Response to Intervention and the Pyramid ModelResponse to Intervention and the Pyramid Model
    Response to Intervention (RtI) offers a comprehensive model for the prevention of delays in learning and behavior. While this problem-solving framework was initially designed for application within Kindergarten to 12th grade programs, there is substantial research that supports the value of the model for application within early childhood programs. This paper provides an overview of RtI and discusses the Pyramid Model (Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003) and its application for promoting young children’s social competence and preventing behavior challenges (June 2009).

For a list of additional papers that have been written by TACSEI faculty, please visit our Center Faculty Publications page.

Roadmap to Effective Intervention Practices

The Roadmap to Effective Intervention Practices series addresses a variety of issues that are important to the field. More syntheses will be added to this site as they become available. Copying and distribution of these documents is encouraged.

  • Screening for Social Emotional Concerns: Considerations in the Selection of Instruments Screening for Social Emotional Concerns: Considerations in the Selection of Instruments
    The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of the use of screening and to help administrators and teachers choose appropriate instruments for implementing a screening program (January, 2009). Trouble downloading? Read this document online
  • Screening for Social Emotional Concerns: Considerations in the Selection of Instruments Evidence-Based Social-Emotional Curricula and Intervention Packages for Children 0-5 Years and Their Families
    The second publication in the TACSEI Roadmap series provides practical guidance to early childhood special education and early intervention personnel, early educators, families, and other professionals seeking interventions to promote healthy social emotional development in young children with and without disabilities. The information in this publication can also help individuals to intervene early with young children who may already be displaying problematic social emotional behaviors (June, 2009). Trouble downloading? Read this document online
  • Promoting Social Behavior of Young Children in Group Settings: A Summary of ResearchPromoting Social Behavior of Young Children in Group Settings: A Summary of Research
    This brief synthesis provides a summary of intervention practices that are supported by empirical evidence for promoting adaptive social-emotional behavior of young children in group contexts (e.g., pre-K classrooms; child care settings). The focus of the synthesis is on toddlers and preschool children who are identified as having disabilities or who are at risk for disabilities, and who have identified problems with social-emotional behaviors (August, 2009). Trouble downloading? Read this document online
  • Technical Assistance to Promote Service and System ChangeTechnical Assistance to Promote Service and System Change
    The purpose of this TACSEI Roadmap document is to assist a range of stakeholders (e.g., early childhood service providers, parents, technical assistance providers) understand the types of TA that are most beneficial for achieving particular practice and systems outcomes. The paper explores and highlights TA strategies to initiate, implement, and sustain effective practice and systems change. The content of this Roadmap is based on a broad literature related to practice, service, and systems change, data and information related to TA across a number of domains (e.g., special education, general education, community prevention, aid for developing countries), and data and best practices related to implementation and scaling up of evidence-based practices (November, 2009). Trouble downloading? Read this document online
  • Technical Assistance to Promote Service and System ChangeFamily-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social-Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers with or at Risk for Disabilities
    This TACSEI Roadmap considers family-focused services and practices for promoting social-emotional development of children served in Part C. Its specific focus is on interventions that influence parenting practices for infants and toddlers with or at risk for disabilities (September, 2010). Trouble downloading? Read this document online
  • Technical Assistance to Promote Service and System ChangeRoad Map to Statewide Implementation of the Pyramid Model
    This document is a guide for implementing widespread use of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. It is a road map of systems change. The Road Map is written for statewide systems change, although it could be used for regions within a state or even for a large metropolitan area, as long as the administrative authority enables the necessary policy statements and resource allocations. (March, 2014).
  • Technical Assistance to Promote Service and System ChangeData Decision-Making and Program-Wide Implementation of the Pyramid Model
    The TACSEI Roadmap on Data Decision-Making and Program-Wide Implementation of the Pyramid Model provides programs with guidance on how to collect and use data to ensure the implementation of the Pyramid Model with fidelity and decision-making that improves the provision of implementation supports, delivery of effective intervention, and the promotion of meaningful child outcomes. The roadmap was developed through the contributions and knowledge of multiple faculty members working with the Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) and the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI). Their efforts to develop meaningful measures and data decision-making tools were conducted in partnership with the numerous demonstration sites, programs, coaches, and state leadership teams within CSEFEL and TACSEI states. This document reflects over a decade of collective effort to identify or develop data decision-making tools that were useful, efficient, and reliable. (March, 2014).

Tools

  • Teaching Tools for Young Children logoCreating Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior
    This product is made up of a variety of tools including handouts, worksheets, techniques, strategies, visuals and other materials that assist teachers in creating a plan to support young children who are having challenging behavior. Teaching Tools is available for download from this website as a "zip" file, which means that you can download the User's Manual, Routine Based Support Guide, and many handouts, visuals and other materials included in Teaching Tools in one convenient package.

Team Tennessee has developed additional routine-based guides for teachers and families. In addition to the classroom guide for toddlers and preschoolers, they have developed a family routine-based guide for early elementary age children, a routine-based guide for early elementary classrooms, and building relationships routine-based guide for infants. They have generously agreed to share this work with TACSEI web site visitors. Thank you Beth Vorhaus and Team Tennessee!

  • Family Routine Based Support Guide: Building Relationships with InfantsFamily Routine Based Support Guide: Building Relationships with Infants
    Created by Team Tennessee, this guide was developed to assist parents and caregivers in building relationships with their infants as well as in developing a plan to support their infants. Children engage in challenging behavior for a variety of reasons, but all children use challenging behavior to communicate messages. Challenging behavior, typically, communicates a need to escape or avoid a person/activity or communicates a desire to obtain someone/something. Once parents understand the purpose or meaning of the behavior, they can begin to select strategies to change the behavior. They can do this by selecting prevention strategies, teaching new skills, and changing the way they respond in an effort to eliminate or minimize the challenging behavior.This Family Routine Guide also includes strategies for common routines and activities that occur during a family’s week.
  • Family Routine Based Support Guide: Early Elementary-4 to 8 years oldsFamily Routine Based Support Guide: Early Elementary-4 to 8 years olds
    Created by Team Tennessee, this Family Routine Guide was developed to assist parents and caregivers in developing a plan to support young children who are using challenging behavior. Children engage in challenging behavior for a variety of reasons, but all children use challenging behavior to communicate messages. Challenging behavior, typically, communicates a need to escape or avoid a person/activity or communicates a desire to obtain someone/something. Once parents understand the purpose or meaning of the behavior, they can begin to select strategies to change the behavior. They can do this by selecting prevention strategies, teaching new skills, and changing the way they respond in an effort to eliminate or minimize the challenging behavior. The Family Routine Guide includes strategies for the common routines and activities that occur during the family’s week.
  • Classroom Routine Support Guide: Early Elementary K-2nd gradeClassroom Routine Support Guide: Early Elementary K-2nd grade
    This Routine Based Support Guide was developed to assist teachers in problem-solving a plan to support young children who are having challenging behavior. As teachers know, children engage in challenging behavior for a variety of reasons, but all children use challenging behavior to communicate messages. Challenging behavior typically communicates a need to escape or avoid a person(s)/activity or a desire to obtain someone/something. Once teachers understand the purpose or meaning of the behavior, they can begin to select strategies to make the behavior irrelevant, inefficient, and ineffective. They can do this by selecting prevention strategies, teaching new skills, and changing responses in an effort to eliminate or minimize the challenging behavior. The Routine Based Support Guide is a manual that includes "Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior". The guide is organized into the routines/activities that would typically occur in an early childhood classrooms.
  • Teaching Tools for Young Children logoComplete Guide to Positive Behavior Support
    Created as a "take-away" tool to accompany the TACSEI Six Steps of PBS (Positive Behavior Support) learning modules, this Word document is a complete reference that outlines the entire PBS process. For your convenience, this comprehensive reference also includes links to all the forms, information sheets and worksheets described in the learning modules as well as websites and resources in easy-to-access sections at the end of the document.

Issue Briefs

  • Preventing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion with Young ChildrenIssue Brief: Preventing the Use of Restraint and Seclusion with Young Children: The Role of Effective, Positive Practices
    In recent years, there have been major concerns expressed regarding the use of restraint and seclusion to control the behavior of children with disabilities and/or challenging behavior. In May of 2009, for example, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released findings regarding a number of cases in which seclusion and restraint were abused to the point that children were physically and psychologically injured. Some children even died while being restrained. The great potential for abuse and injury has led many school districts, state agencies, and state governments to issue policies, regulations and laws that limit the use of restraint and seclusion. Many of these regulations and statutes effectively prohibit the use of restraint and seclusion except in cases of orthopedic necessity and obvious emergencies in which a child is in imminent danger. Still, there remains uncertainty about what constitutes restraint and seclusion and what should be done as an alternative.The purpose of this document is to review these issues and discuss positive strategies that can be used to prevent behaviors that could lead to considerations of these invasive and potentially-dangerous practices. (February, 2011).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • Administrator Brief: Integrating Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with the Pyramid ModelIssue Brief: Integrating Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation with the Pyramid Model
    A growing number of states and communities are implementing the Pyramid Model in early care and education settings, and in many of these places there are also early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC) programs operating. This practice brief provides an overview of ECMHC, how it can support the implementation of the Pyramid Model and the issues that arise when administrators seek to integrate these two approaches at the state and local levels. Mental health consultants can: (1) serve as coaches for implementing the Pyramid practices; (2) serve as adjuncts to coaches, by working with children, families and teachers; and (3) use the Pyramid Model to inform and organize their own strategies for working with teachers and families. (November, 2009).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • Administrator Brief: Administrator Strategies that Support High Fidelity Implementation of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social-Emotional Competence & Addressing Challenging BehaviorIssue Brief: Administrator Strategies that Support High Fidelity Implementation of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social-Emotional Competence & Addressing Challenging Behavior
    Implementing the Pyramid Model with fidelity and achieving positive outcomes for children and their families requires that administrators understand their roles in the implementation process. Every administrative decision impacts program quality and sustainability. This Issue Brief underscores the importance of facilitative administrative practices that provide sustained commitment, timely training, competent coaching, the use of process and outcome data for decision-making, and the development of policies and procedures that are aligned with high fidelity implementation (July, 2009).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • Administrator Brief: Promoting Social, Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes of Young Children Served Under IDEAIssue Brief: Promoting Social, Emotional and Behavioral Outcomes of Young Children Served Under IDEA
    A growing body of evidence confirms that serious and persistent challenging behaviors in early childhood directly relate to later problems in school success, social relationships, educational and vocational success, and social adjustment. This brief addresses several important questions policy makers may have about challenging behavior and how these issues relate to young children served under IDEA (January, 2007).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.

Articles

  • Active Implementation Frameworks for Program Success:How to Use Implementation Science to Improve Outcomes for ChildrenActive Implementation Frameworks for Program Success: How to Use Implementation Science to Improve Outcomes for Children
    Published in Zero to Three, March 2012
    Over the past decade the science related to developing and identifying evidence-based programs and practices for children and families has improved significantly. However, the science related to implementing these programs in early childhood settings has lagged far behind. This article outlines how the science of implementation and the use of evidence-based Active Implementation Frameworks can close the research-to-practice gap in early childhood and ensure sustainable program success.
  • Randomized, Controlled Trial of theRandomized, Controlled Trial of the LEAP Model of Early Intervention for Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Published in Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, November 2011
    A clustered randomized design was used in which 28 inclusive preschool classrooms were randomly assigned to receive 2 years of training and coaching to fidelity in the LEAP (Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and Their Parents) preschool model, and 28 inclusive classes were assigned to receive intervention manuals only. In total, 177 intervention classroom children and 117 comparison classroom children participated. Children were similar on all measures at start. After 2 years, experimental class children were found to have made significantly greater improvement than their comparison cohorts on measures of cognitive, language, social, and problem behavior, and autism symptoms. Behavior at entry did not predict outcome nor did family socioeconomic status. The fidelity with which teachers implemented LEAP strategies did predict outcomes. Finally, social validity measurement showed that procedures and outcomes were favorably viewed by intervention class teachers.
  • The Teaching Pyramid, Young Children July 2003"You Got It!" Teaching Social and Emotional Skills
    Published in Young Children, November 2006
    In this article we look at the secondary level of the teaching pyramid, which emphasizes planned instruction on specific social and emotional skills for children at risk for developing more challenging behavior, such as severe aggression, property destruction, noncompliance, or withdrawal. Children who may be considered at risk for challenging behavior are persistently noncompliant, have difficulty regulating their emotions, do not easily form relationships with adults and other children, have difficulty engaging in learning activities, and are perceived by teachers as being likely to develop more intractable behavior problems.
  • The Teaching Pyramid, Young Children July 2003The Teaching Pyramid: A Model for Supporting Social Competence and Preventing Challenging Behavior in Young Children
    Published in Young Children, July 2003
    This article was written by Center faculty and describes a conceptual framework for change that guides the work of the Center. Specifically, this model maps out how to proceed in a systematic fashion and helps us decide where immediate attention is it most necessary regarding children’s social emotional issues and challenging behavior.
  • Prevention and intervention with young children's challenging behaviorPrevention and intervention with young children’s challenging behavior: A summary and perspective regarding current knowledge.
    Published in Behavioral Disorders (2006), 32, 29-45.
    This article written by Center faculty discusses the fact that challenging behavior exhibited by young children is becoming recognized as a serious impediment to social–emotional development and a harbinger of severe maladjustment in school and adult life. Consequently, professionals and advocates from many disciplines have been seeking to define, elaborate, and improve on existing knowledge related to the prevention and resolution of young children’s challenging behaviors. The discussion section of this article addresses directions and priorities for practice and future research.

For a list of additional articles that have been written by TACSEI faculty, please visit our Center Faculty Publications page.

Let's Talk! Conversations with TACSEI Specialists

  • Ted BoveyStrategies for Successfully Including Children with Autism in Early Childhood Settings
    A Conversation with Ted Bovey
    As the number of young children diagnosed with autism continues to rise, early childhood programs are frequently faced with the challenge of including these children in their settings and supporting their significant social, language, and behavioral needs. In this interview, Ted Bovey discusses a proven framework for including young children with autism in traditional early childhood settings. Information regarding key programming components, classroom strategies, teaching strategies and individualized supports is discussed. (April, 2009)
    Listen to the Conversation with Ted (Running time 15:06)
    Read the Conversation with Ted
  • Karen BlaseReady, Set, Whoa: Planning Tools for Implementation
    A Conversation with Karen Blase
    Deciding to implement an evidence-based set of practices or an evidence-based program requires planning, community and family engagement, and attention to implementation and sustainability strategies. In this discussion, Karen Blase assists agencies in understanding the importance of the “exploration and installation” stages of implementation.(March, 2009)
    Listen to the Conversation with Karen (Running time 20:20)
    Read the Conversation with Karen
  • Kathleen BaggettAssessing and Guiding Parent-Child Interaction in Early Intervention
    A Conversation with Kathleen Baggett
    Parent-child interaction is a critical ingredient in promoting children’s early social-emotional development. In this interview, Kathleen Baggett talks about the Indicator of Parent-Child Interactions (IPCI), a tool that practitioners can use to assess when their interventions are effective in helping parents support their children’s development.(March, 2009)
    Listen to the Conversation with Kathleen (Running time 16:36)
    Read the Conversation with Kathleen

Making Life Easier

TACSEI's "Making Life Easier" series is designed specifically for parents and caregivers. This series of tipsheets contains valuable information on how to make often challenging events easier to navigate, and even enjoyable, for both caregivers and children.

  • Making Life Easier: Holidays-Strategies for SuccessMaking Life Easier: Going to the Doctor or Dentist
    Doctor and dentist visits can be very stressful for young children. Routine check-ups can cause anxiety, fear and distress in toddlers and preschoolers. In this Making Life Easier issue, adults are provided with tips to prepare the child for these appointments and make visits to the doctor or dentist less stressful for everyone (December, 2013).
  • Making Life Easier: Holidays-Strategies for SuccessMaking Life Easier: Holidays-Strategies for Success
    While the holiday season is filled with enjoyable activities, events and traditions, it can also be a hectic and stressful time. Travel, shopping, loud music, bright lights, unfamiliar food, and busy schedules can turn typical routines upside down! The disruption to routine can be particularly difficult for children who depend on routine and predictability to engage in appropriate behavior.(November, 2013).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online
    .
  • Making Life Easier: Bedtime and NaptimeMaking Life Easier: Bedtime and Naptime
    Many families find bedtime and naptime to be a challenge for them and their children. Sleep problems can make infants and young children moody, short tempered and unable to engage well in interactions with others. Sleep problems can also impact learning. Parents also need to feel rested in order to be nurturing and responsive to their growing and active young children. This first installment of the Making Life Easier series provides a few proven tips for making bedtimes and naptimes easier for both parents and children. Also includes a handy tip card for quick reference.(November, 2010).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online
    .
  • Making Life Easier: Running ErrandsMaking Life Easier: Running Errands
    Running errands (e.g., going to the store, bank, etc.) is one of those essential household routines that all families experience. It is often thought of as a “maintenance” activity that is necessary for the family, but not enjoyable for young children. While there can be huge benefits in taking your young child along, running errands can be extremely difficult if the child has challenging behavior. Still, there are several steps you can take to help you and your child get the most out of these outings. Also includes a handy tip card for quick reference. (November, 2010).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online
    .
  • Making Life Easier: DiaperingMaking Life Easier: Diapering
    For many families, changing a child’s diaper can be a major battle. This routine is usually not as predictable as other activities, is often unpleasant for adults and not an event that the young child enjoys. While it can be challenging, it is also an opportunity to build a positive, nurturing and responsive relationship with your child. This installment of the Making Life Easier series provides several proven strategies to help make diapering a positive and relationship building experience for you both. Also includes a handy tip card for quick reference. (November, 2010).
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online
    .

Backpack Connection Series 

    The Backpack Connection Series was created by TACSEI to provide a way for teachers and parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Teachers may choose to send a handout home in each child’s backpack when a new strategy or skill is introduced to the class. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home. This series was developed in collaboration with Pyramid Plus: The Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion and Bal Swan Children's Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

    The Backpack Connection Series includes handouts in four categories:
    • Addressing Behavior
    • Emotions
    • Routines and Schedules
    • Social Skills

    Looking for Backpack Connection or other  Family Materials in Spanish or Chinese!  Our resources have been translated.  Click below to explore additional materials.

    http://cainclusion.org/teachingpyramid/materials_family.html

     

Addressing Behavior

  • How to Understand the Meaning of Your Child’s Challenging BehaviorHow to Understand the Meaning of Your Child’s Challenging Behavior
    As a parent or caregiver, you may see your child behave in a way that doesn’t make sense and ask yourself, “Why does she keep doing that?” It can be very frustrating, especially when it seems like it should be easy for your child to figure out on her own a more appropriate way to behave. In moments like this, it is important to remember that children continue to use a behavior because it works! Your child’s behavior is a powerful communication tool that she uses to tell you what she needs or wants. Sometimes, when a child does not know the appropriate way (such as words, sign language or pointing to pictures) to express her needs or wants she may use challenging behavior (such as hitting, screaming or spitting) to communicate. Challenging behavior gives children the ability to send a message in a fast and powerful way. Children will use challenging behavior to communicate until they learn new, more appropriate ways to express their wants and needs. To change the behavior, it is important for you to first discover what is causing the behavior. If you know why your child is choosing a behavior, you can then teach her to communicate her wants and needs in a new way that everyone feels good about.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Give Clear DirectionsHow to Give Clear Directions
    “Why do I have to repeat myself time and again?” “Why won’t she listen to me?” Listening and following directions are important skills young children must learn. There are many reasons why children do not follow directions.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Use Social Stories to Teach Your Child New Skills and ExpectationsHow to Use Social Stories to Teach Your Child New Skills and Expectations
    Children love to listen to stories. Not only are stories used to entertain children, they can also be used as tools to teach new skills and expectations. Many parents read books to teach their children the
    alphabet or numbers, but stories can also be used to: teach social skills, such as how to take turns; teach clear behavior expectations for a time of day (e.g., quiet time) or event (e.g., road trip); reinforce routines, such as getting ready for bed; prepare for new experiences, such as the first day of school; and address a challenging behavior, such as hitting.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Stop WhiningHow to Help Your Child Stop Whining
    There are few behaviors that are more frustrating to parents than whining. Yet for children, whining can be a quick and easy way to get a parent’s full attention. Children whine when they feel overwhelmed by an emotion or desire and do not have the vocabulary to express their feelings. They also might whine when they do not have the skills to complete a task or because they feel tired, hungry, powerless, or lonely. Simply put, children whine to ask for help. You can help your child figure out WHY he is whining and help him to find a better way to communicate.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Stop BitingHow to Help Your Child Stop Biting
    It is very common for a child to bite others at some point during their early years. When children do not have the skills or vocabulary to express their feelings, they might engage in a behavior, such as biting, as a way to let you know how they feel.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.

Emotions

  • How to Use Positive Language to Improve Your Child’s BehaviorHow to Use Positive Language to Improve Your Child’s Behavior
    “Stop it.” “No.” “Don’t do that!” As a parent, you might find yourself using these words and phrases more often when your child begins to make his own choices. Now, stop for a moment and consider how the conversation might feel if you couldn’t use these words? What if, rather than telling your child what he can’t do, you instead chose words to tell him what he can do? While this shift in language might seem small, it actually provides a powerful positive change to the tone of the conversation. When you focus on using positive language with your child, you will likely find that he has fewer tantrums, whines less and overall experiences fewer challenging behaviors.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand JealousyHow to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand Jealousy
    Jealousy is a normal emotion experienced by adults and children. Young children often do not have the skills or language to deal with this complex feeling. Many children deal with jealousy by acting out with challenging behavior such as tantrums, crying or hitting. Because your child may act out with anger, it can be difficult for you to respond to the true feeling of jealousy. When you teach your child to identify and respond to the true feelings of jealousy, you are doing more than making him feel better. You are also helping him learn to manage painful feelings and get along with others today and in the future. If your child knows that his feelings are normal and he is unique and valued for who he is, regardless of his toys or abilities, jealous feelings are less likely to escalate into destructive behaviors.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your ChildHow to Help Your Child Understand and Label Emotions
    You can help your child expand her emotional vocabulary by teaching her words for different feelings. Once she knows and understands these words you can help her to label her own feelings and the feelings of others. Teaching your child about her emotions can be a fun and rewarding experience and prevent challenging behavior from occurring in the first place.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand SadnessHow to Help Your Child Recognize & Understand Sadness
    Sadness is one of the easiest emotions for young children to understand, and one of the first emotions that they can lean to recognize in others. Everyone feels sad at one time or another for a variety of reasons. As parents, we want to empower our children to recognize when they are feeling sad and, if needed, take steps to help themselves feel better or ask someone else for help. When you help your child recognize the physical features that accompany feeling sad and understand the reasons why someone might feel sad, you are helping your child create the necessary building blocks for him to manage his own emotions and relationships.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand AngerHow to Help Your Child Recognize & Understand Anger
    As a parent, you might find that calming your angry child can be one of the biggest challenges of parenting. There are many things that make children angry, and children feel anger in different ways — just as adults do. As with all emotions, when you help your child recognize and name his anger you have helped him take the first step toward being able to control his own behavior. When your child is able to recognize the feeling and say, “I’m angry!” it reduces the chances that he will act out.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand DisappointmentHow to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand Disappointment
    Disappointment is a normal, though difficult, part of growing up. Your child is likely to experience disappointment as she makes new friends, tries new things and experiences the ups and downs of her world. Whether it’s a trip to the park that is ruined by rain or missing a birthday party, life is full of little and big disappointments. When you allow your child to feel, experience and learn from little disappointments at an early age, you help her to create the skills she will need to successfully handle the bigger disappointments she will experience later in childhood and as an adult.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand FrustrationHow to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand Frustration
    Frustration is a common emotion in young children and typically occurs as a child begins to discover the many things he would like to do, but simply cannot do yet. Frustration is a natural and healthy emotion and can provide a positive learning experience for a child. The feelings of frustration that occur when your child has difficulty communicating his needs or tying his shoes are his cue that he needs to try to do something in a different way or that what he is doing is not working. You can teach your child how to deal with frustration in a way that is useful for him. Most important, you must respond to frustration when it first arises before it changes into anger or becomes the dreaded temper tantrum. Two skills children must learn in order to deal with frustration are: 1) how to ask for help, and 2) know when to take a break!
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.

Routines and Schedules

  • How to Plan Activities to Reduce Challenging BehaviorHow to Plan Activities to Reduce Challenging Behavior
    Unfortunately, there is no “Guidebook for Parents” that tells you exactly how to raise children who behave perfectly at all times. Each child and family is unique, which means that there is no one solution or strategy that is going to work for everyone, every time. However, while it isn’t magic, simple planning ahead can work wonders to help improve your child’s behavior. You can plan activities to teach your child important skills such as sharing, taking turns or handling disappointment. You can also plan ahead to prepare your child for new events in her life such as changes in her schedule, a road trip, a new baby or a visit from grandparents.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Have a Successful MorningHow to Help Your Child Have a Successful Morning
    Do you struggle with stressful mornings when you want to lay your head down and cry before 8:00 a.m.? Do you often leave the house in an angry, frantic rush? Mornings can be a particularly challenging time for parents. Getting your entire family up and out the door is no easy task! It is important to understand that your morning routine serves as the foundation for your family’s entire day. You can create a morning routine that not only helps your day to begin more smoothly, but also teaches your child important skills that he needs to become more independent and confident. A morning routine can also reduce challenging behavior such as crying, whining and tantrums.
    Trouble downloading? Read this document online.
  • How to Help Your Child Have a Successful BedtimeHow to Help Your Child Have a Successful Bedtime
    Infants and young children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep daily in order to support healthy development. Parents also need to feel rested in order to be nurturing and responsive to their growing and active young children. When your child does not get enough sleep, challenging behaviors are likely to occur. Your child might be moody, short-tempered and unable to engage well in interactions with others. Lack of sleep can also have a negative impact on your child’s ability to learn. When a young child sleeps, her body is busy developing new brain cells that she needs for her physical, mental and emotional development. Babies and young children thrive on predictability and learn from repetition. It is important to establish a bedtime routine that you and your child both understand and helps everyone to feel calm and relaxed.
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  • How to Use Visual Schedules to Help Your Child Understand ExpectationsHow to Use Visual Schedules to Help Your Child Understand Expectations
    Often, children do not respond to adult requests because they don’t actually understand what is expected of them. When a child doesn’t understand what he is supposed to do and an adult expects to see action, the result is often challenging behavior such as tantrums, crying or aggressive behavior. A child is more likely to be successful when he is told specifically what he should do rather than what he should not do. A visual (photographs, pictures, charts, etc.) can help to communicate expectations to young children and avoid challenging behavior. Visual schedules (activity steps through pictures) can be used at home to teach routines such as getting ready for school. These types of schedules teach children what is expected of them and reminds them what they should be doing.
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  • How to Help Your Child Transition Smoothly Between Places and ActivitiesHow to Help Your Child Transition Smoothly Between Places and Activities
    Transitioning, or moving, to new places, people and activities is something we do many times during the day. However, change can be overwhelming and seem unpredictable for your child, especially when she is not ready to move on to the next place or activity. Children make many transitions each day--from parents to teachers, from home to car, or from play time to the dinner table, for example. When and how often transitions occur are usually decided by an adult and children often act out with challenging behavior when they feel unable to control their routine. When you help your child prepare for transitions you are helping her to learn a valuable skill. The good news is that you can teach her this important skill while you are enjoying time together.
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Social Skills

  • How to Teach Your Child to Appropriately Get Your AttentionHow to Teach Your Child to Appropriately Get Your Attention
    The ability to successfully capture someone’s attention is a fundamental social skill and provides the foundation for future success in social settings and relationships. Children use a variety of ways to get attention and will often resort to techniques they find most effective, such as yelling or whining. You can teach your child the way that you want him to get your attention (such as tapping you on the shoulder) and then reward him when that behavior occurs. When you take the time at home to build on the skills your child is learning at school, you reinforce these positive skills and create a solid social foundation for your child which will help to reduce challenging behaviors.
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  • How to Help Your Child Learn to ShareHow to Help Your Child Learn to Share
    Learning how to share is a big challenge for all children because it often means putting aside one’s own needs in order to make someone else happy. Sharing is not a skill children have when they are born—they need to be taught how to share and how to see that their efforts have helped someone else feel happy or solve a problem. In order to learn this skill, children need adults to provide them with many different opportunities where they can practice how to share with others and see other children in the act of sharing. When a child learns how to share with others she feels more confident and is better able to play with other children independently. Additionally, learning how to share gives a child a very important and solid foundation of successful friendship skills she can continue to build on as she grows.
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  • How to Help Your Child Manage Time and Understand ExpectationsHow to Help Your Child Manage Time and Understand Expectations
    Time is an unclear measure for children. It is very common for a parent to feel frustrated with a child when he has not done what he was asked to do (e.g., pick up toys, put on shoes, finish snack) even after he has been given a five-minute warning. However, it is important for parents to know that there is little difference between five minutes and an hour to young children because of the way they experience time. Children live in the moment and the future is difficult for them to measure. When parents use time (rather than events such as “when I get to the top of the stairs”) to communicate what they expect the child to do, it can lead to the child feeling confused and frustrated, and ultimately, the child expressing his emotions through a tantrum.
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  • How to Help Your Child Learn to TradeHow to Help Your Child Learn to Trade
    When a child sees another child playing with a toy she wants, her first instinct is to take it. This behavior can be frustrating to playmates and often leads to an argument. Trading is a solution children can choose as a way to get an object from someone else in a positive way, and is a great first step in learning how to share. Trading is also a skill that must be taught and practiced many times. However, once your child is comfortable trading with others it can make her feel empowered. Knowing how to trade helps children to manage their emotions and confidently solve their own problems without help from an adult. Unlike sharing, where children must wait to use a toy, trading is a solution that allows both people to feel happy with the outcome right away. It takes patience and guidance to teach your child how to negotiate with playmates by herself, but it is a valuable skill that she will use throughout her life.
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Make and Take Workshops

Make and Take WorkshopsMake and Take Workshops are workshops designed to provide information on a focused topic with the opportunity to “make and take” materials back to the classroom. Practitioners who make materials to use are much more likely to implement the strategies in their classrooms. The Make and Take materials posted on this site are for experienced Pyramid Model trainers to use.

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