E12 – Building Meaningful Connections to Calm Behavior Issues in the Classroom with Prerna Richards

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Prerna Richards, an early childhood education veteran of 37 years,  joins us on the podcast today to continue our discussion on supporting teachers who may be struggling with behavior issues in the classroom.

Prerna knows that this is one of the leading causes of burnout, but feels that our teachers might not have the tools they need to help children communicate their needs.

When you listen to today’s episode, you’ll learn:

  • The six reasons causing most behavior issues and strategies you can use for each of them
  • What it means to become a “breathing program”
  • How to reconnect children’s brains for listening and learning when it seems like they have checked out and are on a different planet
  • At least six game-changing phrases that can turn almost any situation around
  • The 3 E’s you can do every day to manage and reduce stress
  • And more

When it comes to calming behavior issues, it starts with the adults. If teachers cant regulate their own emotions, how can they teach the children these skills?

Prerna wants to give teachers the skills and strategies they need to to help children regulate themselves.

Teachers are in this profession because they care and want to make a difference. She says, “It’s a calling – it’s a privilege to make the world a better place for children.”

“It’s a calling – it’s a privilege to make the world a better place for children.” – Prerna Richards

Prerena observes that if the adult is not centered and balanced and calm,  they tend to go into the reacting space instead of the responding space. She reveals a simple 4 step plan adults can follow the next time they feel triggered that will help both the teacher and child work through the behavior.

Prerna points out that behavior is a form of communication. Start looking for what the child is trying to communicate. Knowing that attention-seeking behavior is a relationship-seeking need is a game changer. 

When children are acting out, doing attention-seeking behavior, they are trying to connect with you somehow. And we have to connect with them when they are calm, not just when they are not acting up.

The more you correct, the less you connect. Children will not listen to you if you are not connecting with them.

Listen now, and share this episode with your teachers and caregivers to hear this inspiring conversation aimed at better equipping your team to positively lead children through their behavior challenges.

Tune in to hear the answer to this week’s listener question: 

Dear Brian & Carol: I have a policy not to expel children with biting issues, but I’ve recently lost two families because of my policy and my staff is frustrated. How do I keep parents and staff happy when there’s a difficult child in the classroom?

Jennifer, NY

Tune in to hear guest expert, Prerna Richards, share several pointers on helping guide children out of biting behaviors. She says, “It just takes a little bit of work to rewire children’s brains,” Tune in now)

More About Prerna Richards:

Prerna Richards is a Keynote, international, national speaker, behavior coach and NAEYC consultant. She has been in the early childhood education field for the past 37 years. She is a registered master level trainer with the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System. Her educational philosophy is grounded in a play-based approach along with a strong social-emotional foundation. She is the winner of Susan Hargrave trainer of the year award from TXAEYC in 2020.

To contact Prerna Richards:


LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/prernarichards/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Togetherwegrowonline

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/togetherwegrow.online/

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/c/togetherwegrow108


Mentioned in this episode:

ALEAF Insurance (Official Child Care Genius Podcast Sponsor), Specializing in child care insurance) Contact Blake Sanders for more information: (972) 866-4065, blake@aleafinsurance.com

Learn more about our coaching programs in Child Care Genius University: https://childcaregenius.com/universit

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