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Behavior Checker Q and A

NOTE: As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the developmental milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves, share your concerns with your child’s doctor. Just as importantly, tell the doctor if you are overwhelmed and think you cannot cope with your child's behavior. Don’t wait. Acting early can make a real difference! For more information, go to Learn the Signs. Act Early.

The most important thing we can do for our kids' health and well-being is the simplest, but sometimes the hardest, thing we can do: Teach them how to deal with their emotions when they are angry, disappointed, worried and frustrated and how to get along with others in positive ways.  

When we deal with our children’s angry behavior, for example, we are not only attempting to restore calm, we ultimately wanting to teach children how to handle frustration in ways that protect them and others from harm.  We are most successful when we model the kind of behavior we want to teach and communicate our personal values to children in ways that make these values as important to children as they are to us.  Behavior Checker is here to help you do just that.

  • You! Parents, grandparents, caregivers, healthcare professionals, educators, and coaches. All children do these behaviors, so all of us can help them learn how to get along with others, deal with their anger and frustration, practice patience, manage disappointment and more. 

    The over 150 behaviors are the most common ones children do that teach US that we need to teach them new ways to behave, from the time they can move around and explore their world by crawling or walking (which varies with every child) through the teenage years. 

  • You know your child best. Ask yourself, "What is the behavior I want to change?" Focus on teaching your child "what to do" instead of yell, hit, bite, etc. Be specific, rather than telling your child “not to hit”.

    We have provided many specific “ Related Behaviors” under each “ Behavior”. For example, “Aggressive Behavior” in your 4 year old may be “Yells”, but in your 10 year old, it may be “Pushes”. Your 2-year-old daughter might “Hit” and your 12-year-old-son might “Threaten”. 

    In that same way, you may choose the specific “What to do” advice. “Calm Time” may be the best advice to teach your 2-year-old biter not to bite and change that behavior.  And your 8-year-old-child who pushes someone when he is angry might best learn to calm himself down and not push by teaching him Empathy.  All of the “What to do” choices work—you pick which one or ones work best for your child. And then, consistently practice that discipline method, as instructed in the  “What to do” advice. 

    Certain words and actions will feel more natural to use for some than for others. Change a word or two if the exact language we suggest doesn’t feel comfortable for you to say. Make what you say and do believable to your child. And don’t forget that the tone of voice you use can make the difference in motivating your child—stay calm and positive!

    What Not to Do: It’s equally important to know what not to do for each behavior that you think of as a problem. This advice is for you when caring for a child of every age. These will help you prevent certain behavior problems from recurring, becoming worse, or creating another problem. 

  • Practice, practice, practice! See the Encouraging Reminders and Mind S.E.T. sections on each Behavior problem page to keep yourself calm, use empathy and know that learning anything takes practice. 

    These practical, proven Behavior Checker solutions have been trusted and recommended by parents, educators and pediatric healthcare providers for decades.  Developed by the co-authors of the best-selling parenting book, Discipline with Love and Limits: Calm, Practical Solutions to Over 100 Common Childhood Behavior Problems, who are also founders of the Raised with Love and Limits Foundation.


The authors and Raised with Love and Limits Foundation disclaim responsibility for any harmful consequences, loss, injury or damage associated with the use and application of information or advice contained in these prescriptions and on this website. These protocols are clinical guidelines that must be used in conjunction with critical thinking and critical judgment.