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How to discourage acting like animal in public?

I am a family service advocate for a head start program and a parent is concerned about public out-bursts to other people. She is embrassed about it because her daughter grabs at other people. She has tried differant thing to discourage her but nothing seems to help.

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Asked by KYWVU at 5:42 PM on Nov. 18, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • does the child have some special needs?
    mine used to act like a cat, lick things and meow
    and she could do this for hours without acting like a human
    she has autism

    mostly she would revert back to this simple behavior when things were over whelming (sensory overload)
    she once meowed like a cat the whole time she was being evaluated by a therapist, she even licked her ankles

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:52 PM on Nov. 18, 2013

  • if it is because of special needs
    it is not just redirecting this one behavior
    it is a whole program that needs to be set up for the child

    for the licking
    she used to lick windows (even when she was not acting like a cat)
    i used to always carry around salty chips
    and would give her one when she was licking
    assumed she was craving salt
    this worked

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:53 PM on Nov. 18, 2013

  • My kids acted like jerks one time & I threw myself On the floor and made the hugest scene. They stopped their crap quickly.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 6:44 PM on Nov. 18, 2013

  • I don't know the context for this "grabbing at" people, whether it is aggressive or not, but it sounds like the mother may be concerned about boundary violations where personal space is concerned. So generally speaking, I think focusing on empathy is a good rule of thumb for responding to the child in the moment.
    It is sort of like "inappropriate" questions or statements, when little children have no filter and make observations or ask questions that lead to embarrassment or discomfort. Responding to them sternly or severely "projects" intentions & purposes onto their behavior that they do not have. It's the same with physical inappropriateness.
    I think it's important to intervene so that people are not burdened with physical contact or touching they don't welcome, but it's possible to provide that physical limit/restraint while responding in a well-attuned way to the child. This also helps "translate" the behavior to others.

    Answer by girlwithC at 3:57 AM on Nov. 19, 2013

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