Preschooler Behavior Management can take on so many faces that I could devote an entire blog just to that subject. I could give you tips for communicating with preschoolers, tips for preventing bad behaviors, tips for encouraging good behaviors, how to deal with melt downs, and more. (Actually, towards the end of each month this year I will have a behavior management post!)
Today, though, I am sharing one easy tip you can implement any time you need it and see immediate results. It is simply this: Go outside.
Take your child (or children) and walk out the door. Hand him a shovel and let him dig. Hand him a hose and let him spray. Or let him search for a stick. Or even just let him breathe in fresh air while he screams and runs in circles! You can create fun play stations or let your children create their own! Your preschooler behavior management just got much easier!
Research actually shows that outdoor activities help your child regulate emotions and develop cognitively! The Royal Horticultural Society explains that "Much research is available that indicates that being and playing outside is vital for children’s physical health and development, emotional well-being and promotes cognitive development and achievement." (1)
During the last 20 years I have watched upset, high-strung, stressed out children get control of themselves and relax as they got outside and engaged the natural world. This effect can last for hours! Additionally, children tend to be more physically active outside. This exercise creates hormones that help children (and adults!) manage stress. (2) As your preschoolers manage their own stress better, you will need to manage their behavior less.
We all know preschoolers who are flexible, easy-going, and forgiving one minute and then fired up and upset the next. If you notice your preschooler's stress is building or that conflicts are happening more frequently, stop what you're doing and go outside! It makes a huge difference!
(2) Hormones, exercise, and stress articles:
(3) Excellent list of outdoor learning research:
I may share at any of these parties!