when you don’t understand a behavior or action, try asking-

  • Can you tell me what happened from your perspective?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by the choices you made?
  • How do you think we should take accountability?
  • How will you respond in the future?

concrete supports-


  • Accidents will happen.
  • Children WILL test boundaries. It’s how they learn.
  • Sometimes, we over-estimate what little ones are developmentally capable of understanding.
  • We’ll never have all the answers. Just be there and listen.
  • What might seem trivial to us might mean the world to our children.

When it comes to your discipline strategy ask yourself-

  • Am I reacting based on how I’m feeling?
  • Do I feel safe to take responsibility or say ’sorry’ for my actions as a caregiver?
  • Do I feel good about the message I am communicating with my response?

what strategies help you?

  • Taking a few deep breaths
  • Taking a few steps/going for a walk, if you can
  • Going into another room for a minute or two
  • Falling back on your support system, like another caregiver or partner
  • Calling a supportive friend
  • Home visiting services & community support