Prevention Strategy #2: Make Limits Effective

We looked at prevention strategy number one. Today we’ll look at prevention strategy number two make limits effective.

Direct Instruction

We make the mistake of believing children know how to line-up, listen, walk in hallways, share, take turns, etc., but often they do not. Provide direct instruction and opportunities to practice desired behaviors. Example: “Samantha, stand here. Dominick, stand behind Samantha,” or use visuals. Use reinforcement for correct behavioral responses. When children do what is expected, praise them.


The problem with counting and repeating instructions over and over are that they teach students NOT to listen.(1)  Children know they’ll have several more chances to comply. Train children to respond on first request. What behaviors do you need to train your children about? Why do parents and educators like counting for behaviors?



  1. McCready, Amy. Why Counting 1-2-3 Isn’t Magic (Plus 4 Tools to Use Instead)
  2. Image: behavior []

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