By Guest Blogger Janet Howard, Program Director

Does this sound familiar?  Your four year old asks for cookies just before dinner.  Your answer is “no” so dinner isn’t spoiled (and let’s face it, you are busy trying to get dinner ready and don’t want to take the time to negotiate with a four year old about how many cookies he can have).  His response to being told no is to kick the pantry door and dissolve in a screaming fit on the floor.  Now you are challenged with trying to cook dinner with a screaming child at your feet.

I have a couple of suggestions for you that will address this kind of situation.  First: Try to avoid the word “no.”  Chances are your child is expecting you to say that and has a rebuttal/ reaction prepared.  Second: Try saying, “Dinner will be ready soon.  You can have two cookies after dinner.”  See, you have avoided saying no and, even better, have told him he can have multiple cookies later.  That’s a win-win for everyone!!  Most likely you will still get a “Pleeaassee, can I have just one cookie now?”  Simply repeat yourself again.  If that still doesn’t stop the whining and begging, then the third thing to say is, “You can have two cookies after dinner or no cookies at all.”  I promise you he will be okay with that scenario and stop asking (especially if it puts him at risk for not having any cookies at all!).

If you find yourself frustrated with your child, or questioning how to handle your child’s behavior, or even wondering if the behavior you are seeing is “normal,” then our program can help you.  Bringing Out the Best can provide strategies to teachers and parents of young children.  We can help you navigate the trials of raising young children by supporting your parenting and/ or supporting the teachers in the classroom.

Our program is mostly funded by Smart Start funds, distributed by The Guilford County Partnership for Children.  We also have some funding from the Cemala Foundation.  Our purpose is to provide FREE family-centered, community based services targeting children ages birth to five with social and emotional challenges.  The goal is to increase the number of children in Guilford County that are emotionally healthy and ready to succeed as they enter school.  Our referrals come from pediatricians, parents, teachers, and a variety of other early childhood professionals.  Our primary service is to make visits to the classroom, with parent permission, to observe the child in the group environment to see what strategies we can offer to decrease behaviors in that setting.   Our intervention is short-term and may consist of 6-12 visits in total to the classroom and the home.  Our staff spends time in the classroom, figuring out the dynamics between the teacher and the child, or between the child and his classmates, and, also modeling for the teacher ways to address any behaviors.  We also offer teacher training around behavior challenges, and groups for children and their parents so concerns can be addressed with best-practice techniques in a small setting.  Additionally, your family can be served in your home if you reside in Guilford County.

If your child’s teacher has shared concerns about his/ her behavior, then Bringing Out the Best can help.  If you are a parent and want to refer your child, our criteria are: your child must be between the ages of birth to five (and not yet in kindergarten), must be in a classroom setting, and must attend childcare in Guilford County.  When you call for a referral, we will ask for basic demographic information and ask about the reasons for the referral/ what behaviors are of concern.  Following that phone call, paperwork will be sent to you for signatures, giving us permission to work with your child at school and to share information with/ get information from the teachers.  Once we receive that signed paperwork your child will be assigned to a specialist or be put on the wait list, if there is one at that time.  For more information, visit or please call us at (336) 334-3120 to make a referral.

Check out other “Doing Good Things” blogs here:

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“Doing Good Things Series” – The Speech Bus
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“Doing Good Things Series” – The Robert DeLoach Heroes League
“Doing Good Things Series” – The iCan House
“Doing Good Things Series” – ReadWS/Augustine Literacy Project

To nominate a non-profit to be featured in our “Doing Good Things” series, email