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A Simple Approach to Knowing the WAC’s:  Behavior Management Policies


Children are not born with inner self-controls. They learn behaviors through observing the people in their lives. But they need to learn to manage their feelings and emotions in socially acceptable ways. Child care providers are important role models for young children and are in a position to help them acquire self-regulation skills.

Guidance is teaching a child what TO DO instead of focusing on what not to do. Because children learn from their everyday experiences it is important that you respond to their behavior in respectful, developmentally appropriate and emotionally safe ways.

Developmentally Appropriate Guidance

Children go through stages of growth in certain sequences. Understanding these sequences is helpful in guiding children’s behavior because it helps the caregiver to know what might be expected in each developmental stage. When developing appropriate guidance and discipline methods and strategies you should ask yourself:

  • Is the guidance method appropriate for a child this age?
  • Is the guidance method appropriate for this specific child?

Anything a child does is “behavior” and all behaviors of children are purposeful and happen for a reason. However, sometimes children behave in ways that are destructive, inappropriate, or otherwise unacceptable. Caregivers need to respond to these behaviors positively and respectfully.

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