This weeks writing prompt is to formulate a “how-to” article, so I will use my expertise as a former teacher, in both the general and special education realms, to help parents to create a behavior modification plan.
Some kids have a difficult time portraying to those around them all that they're capable of, because their behavior is unruly or their demeanor is, well, difficult to deal with at times.
These children may be hard to control for parents, school teachers, and anyone with whom they come in contact.
These step-by-step instructions are aimed to modify the behavior of any challenging child and may be altered to fit a child's particular needs.
- Hold a meeting with the child in order to explain the plan to him and get his input. Consider the child's viewpoints to make him see that this is not necessarily a decision that is being made for him.
- The points system: Though the child may not yet understand the value of points necessarily, she certainly knows the value of stickers! Reward stickers can be purchased rather inexpensively and the books contain sometimes a thousand of them (try a teaching supply store to obtain them). If a certain amount of time elapses without a behavioral issue (or a certain responsibility is accomplished) by the child, she earns a sticker. These “points” or stickers may be kept in a book by the child.
- It is imperative that a child who has not demonstrated model behavior during this time DOES NOT earn a sticker. This is called “positive reinforcement”- the child is rewarded for good behavior, and simply not rewarded for behavior that is not good.
- There is no consequence for poor behavior, the child simply does not earn. Life moves forward.
- The reward: Once a certain number of stickers has been attained by the child (determine this amount before you begin the plan), a larger reward or certain privileges are earned. For example, it may be a physical object (like the toy truck he's had his eye on), or something that you allow him to do (like going on the computer for an hour, playing a video game, or watching a certain television show).
- Children who continuously succeed with this plan may earn a permanent accolade, such as a later bed time.
*It is critical for parents to remain true to the system. DO NOT give the child any of the stickers, points, or rewards unless they've been earned!
*Additionally, the plan should be discussed with any caregiver for your child as well. Teachers, nannies, even grandparents should be aware that this is something you are going to try.
If you do try the plan or are going to, let me know, I'd love your feedback.