Tips for Managing Challenging Behaviors

Written by: Brandon Combs

Back in May, Tuesday’s Child hosted a workshop for NPN parents called “Managing Challenging Behaviors.” The workshop was led by JoAnne Loper, Director of Parent Education at Tuesday’s Child, and Sallie, Liz, Lydia and Lucy, four parents who have completed Tuesday’s Child’s Behavior Intervention program and now train other moms and dads. 

Many of the parents who attending were struggling with bedtime, so a majority of the time was spent addressing that difficult time of day. Here are a few of the “tips and tricks” that were shared and/or discussed during the workshop:

  • Letting your child cry themselves to sleep can be traumatic – for the parents, not the child.  So, other methods may work better for some families. Whatever method you use, it’s critical to let your child know it is their responsibility (“job”) to fall asleep. Don’t forget to celebrate every time your child falls asleep on their own.
  • Establish trust first – if you say you’ll check on your 4 year old in 5 minutes, make sure you do (and not in 6, or 7 minutes).
  • Visual schedules are great to establish routines and manage expectations.
  • If separation anxiety is an issue, make sure to praise EVERY time your child acts independently. For example “you look like you’re having a great time playing on your own!!”
  • Change if/then to when/then…. “When you put your toys away, we’ll have a snack”.
  • “Monster spray” works great for some families…but be careful, some kids will say “so, then there really are monsters.”
  • Behavior change takes time! Be patient, take baby steps, and break tasks down into small pieces.


Tuesday’s Child’s Behavioral Intervention programs provide parents with tools to set their children up for success, and helps parentsadvocate for their children in school. For more information or to register, click here.

Written by: Kim Heather

Kim is the Development Director at Tuesday’s Child. She lives in Chicago and has 2 children.  Tuesday’s Child helps families address behavioral issues through individualized training for both parents and children. The agency has been a member of NPN since 2009. 

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM