"In order to understand better the meaning of challenging behaviour, sometimes it is helpful to try to feel inside of, or empathise with, a child’s experience," write Doug Baird and Holly Bishop, in their article "Challenging Behaviour" in the Exchange Essential, Children with Challenging Behaviour - Part 1.
"What does it feel like to be out of control of one’s feelings, at any age? What is the internal experience that usually accompanies aggression or disruptive, defiant behaviour? Do we think this child is enjoying himself? Of course, these behaviours are signals that something is not right in the child’s experience. The child is communicating the pain and distress of this not-rightness to the adults around him, in the way that children under six mostly do communicate about important emotional issues, i.e. , through behaviour.
"So the first level of intervention is to see how much information about the problem can be gathered from observing and interacting with the child himself; watching and recording the concerning behaviours very closely; trying to identify common precursors and/or results of the behaviours; forming ideas or hypotheses about what is going on for this particular child. At this stage it is important to rule out any medical condition or physical problem that may be causing the behaviour, such as poor hearing or undiagnosed pain from some hidden condition like dental decay."
Exchange Everyday, March 27, 2013