We understand that as a parent, managing children’s behaviour can be a tricky task. While there are different approaches to behaviour management, and we believe that one of the most effective is the High-Scope approach. This approach is based on six stages that help parents and caregivers approach challenging situations calmly and effectively. In this blog post, we’ll explain the High-Scope’s 6 stages of behaviour management.

Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions.

The first step in managing children’s behaviour is to approach the situation calmly. If there are any hurtful actions happening, stop them immediately. Place yourself between the children and use a calm voice and gentle touch to help them feel safe. It’s essential to remain neutral rather than taking sides to avoid escalating the situation.

Acknowledge children’s feelings.

The second step is to acknowledge children’s feelings. Say something simple such as “you look really upset” to let them know that you understand how they’re feeling. Also, let them know that you need to hold any object in question to avoid any potential harm.

Gather information.

The third step is to gather information about the situation. Ask “what’s the problem?” and avoid asking “why?” questions. You want to know what the problem is rather than understanding the reasons behind it, so focus the children on “what?” to get a clear understanding of the situation.

Restate the problem.

The fourth step is to restate the problem. Use the children’s vocabulary and substitute neutral words for hurtful or judgmental ones if needed. For example, if they used the word “stupid,” replace it with a neutral word like “difficult.” This helps them understand the situation and shows that you are paying attention to what they are saying.

Ask for solutions and choose together.

The fifth step is to ask for solutions and the child’s choice always wins. Ask “what can we do to solve this problem?” and encourage children to think of a solution. If they’re unable to come up with one, offer options to help them choose. It’s essential to involve them in the decision-making process to help them develop problem-solving and that they make the final decision.

Stay close and prepare to follow up.

Acknowledge the children’s accomplishments in finding a solution e.g ‘together you solved that problem’ and stay nearby in case anyone is not happy with the solution.  If so; just repeat the process until fully resolved.

YouTube is a great place to watch videos of this in action.  Here are a few of our favourites (in a nursery situation)

Teaching Preschool Children Conflict Resolution Skills YouTube

Conflict Early Years YouTube

6 Steps to Resolve Conflict (Highscope) – YouTube

I was here first – YouTube

Adopting a Problem-Solving Approach to Conflict – YouTube

Nobody likes hitting – YouTube

It’s my baby’s blanket! – YouTube