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Prevent Misbehavior  

One of the best ways to deal with misbehavior in children is to prevent it in the first place.  Some parenting specialists even say if you do a good enough job of planning ahead to avoid situations where your children’s problematic behavior occurs, you can do away with time out and other discipline methods altogether. 

The secret is to plan and structure activities such that the situations that lead to problematic behavior are avoided.  To start with this you need to pay close attention to when problems arise so you can identify what the situational and emotional tough spots are for your children.  For example, one child may always have difficulty with transitioning from one physical space to another while another might be highly sensitive to their blood sugar levels and misbehave whenever they haven’t eaten in a couple of hours. 

Once those risky times and situations are identified you can make a plan for how to handle them.  Structuring your children’s activity in those times and teaching them coping skills to deal with the difficult emotional experiences they may be having will help them sail through those times problem free.  Of course, if the problem is blood sugar it is probably a good idea to keep some snacks on hand.

Children report being bored a lot these days and much difficult behavior arises in times when children are bored.  Planning activities that keep them engaged and active during those times will be beneficial.  It will be helpful to encourage their interest in a variety of activities so they don’t get consumed in one thing.  Physical activity will also be beneficial when available.  Video games may be beneficial in small doses, but many parents have experienced the negative consequences when they become the primary, or even only, activity children express interest in.