Parenting Now!

How to Decrease Negative Behaviors Using the 3 “P”s

How to Decrease Negative Behaviors Using the 3 “P”s: Prevention, Positive Discipline, and Patience

If you have a preschooler, you probably hear the word “no” (or some version of it) pretty regularly. You may even be surprised to hear that your child is delightfully cooperative and always says yes in preschool! Be proud that your child has learned about cooperation and is showing that at school. Know the “no’s” you hear at home are often your child testing limits with someone – you – who will love them no matter what.

Positive Discipline

As your child tests your limits (and sometimes your patience) with their “no’s,” a positive approach that teaches, rather than punishes is often the most effective. Kind and firm responses will help your child build self-confidence as they learn skills that help them problem solve and have respectful and caring social relationships.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

Creating positive structures can prevent a “meltdown” or unwelcome behavior that can develop into something bigger. Consider:

Routines and Expectations


Praise and Rewards

Unstructured Playtime


Patience: It’s Not “If,” It’s “When”

No matter how many successful preventive tactics we use, there, of course, will always be times when that meltdown occurs or getting ready for bed is a struggle. When disciplining:

Attend to basic needs. Everyone is cranky when their basics aren’t met.

Teaching Your Independent Child

It’s great to see your preschooler becoming more independent. With that independence will also come a lot of testing out about what’s okay or not. With preventive strategies, positive discipline, and patience, the preschool years will be exciting ones of growth for both your child and you.

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now! Parenting Educators and authors, Tova Stabin, Claire Davis and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson ( Parenting Now! is passionate about happy, healthy families. For more information about Parenting Now! contact us here.

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