Position Statement on Challenging Behavior (Division for Early Childhood, DEC) July 2017


Why is DEC taking a stand?

  • Challenging behavior often can interfere with the development of social-emotional competence.
    Conversely, children with low social-emotional competence may develop challenging behavior as a way to communicate their needs.
  • Punitive practices don’t teach children needed social and communicative behaviors.
    Additionally, punitive practices, such as corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion
    disproportionately affect young children of color.
  • Professionals and families need positive strategies to support young children’s development
    and prevent challenging behavior.


Behavior Challenging Behavior Early Childhood