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Lesson 6
Thinking Prevention First

Prevention tools stop misbehavior before it starts. Anytime you are faced with misbehavior, ask yourself, How could I prevent this behavior from occurring in the first place? These 17 tools can be used in some combination to prevent problems.

In each of the three tool sets (Prevention, Guidance, Consequences), tools are organized into three levels of difficulty and challenge:


Note the color symbol associate with each level. This division represents how difficult it might be, in general, to actually use the tool effectively. Of course, a lot depends on the child and the experience of the parent. Ages given for each tool are approximations only.

Clicking on the tool will take you to a description of that tool and at least one example of its use.

Change Your Attitude...

[basic] Change your thinking about the misbehavior (all ages)
[intermediate]Allow minor misbehavior (all ages)

Teach values and behavior...

[basic] Demonstrate the desirable behavior yourself (all ages)
[advanced] Tell stories to make a point (all ages)
[basic] Give specific instructions (all ages)
[intermediate]Prepare child for a difficulty (4-18 years)
[basic] Catch your child being good (all ages)
[advanced] Give progress reports (5-18 years)

Change the situation...

[intermediate] Change the surroundings (all ages)
[intermediate] Change the activity (2-11 years)
[intermediate] Physically redirect (2-4 years)

Increase security...

[advanced] Move physically closer (all ages)
[intermediate] Provide reassuring routines (2-16 years)
[advanced] Provide transitions (3-8 years)

Strengthen self-esteem...

[basic] Show interest in what your child does (all ages)
[basic] Provide real affection (all ages)
[basic] Enjoy each other's company (all ages)
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Contact us/Help Revised: February 12 , 2003

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