Tag Archives: young children

Aggression? Not So Much Anymore!

1 Feb
 

Here are some little ideas if you have a child that displays aggressive behavior (see last post)

1. If transitioning from watching TV to taking a bath is difficult try setting a times, provide a warning, have a favorite toy your child can gain only when taking a bath.

2. If going to the grocery store creates problem behaviors try shortening up the trip to a few trips each week limiting the duration of time in the store.  Offer your child a preferred item during this trip.  One mother offered her child a wet wipe. He loved to wipe off the shopping cart as they went through the store.  This provided a fun activity and a distraction.

3. Provide warnings when activities are about to end or the child needs to transition from fun to something less fun – TV to taking a bath.

4. Provide a choice between two activities or items when you must denied the child – No you can not have the candy but I have a piece of gum for you or you can hold my keys.

Help your child transition, or invest in one of these!

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Is Santa Claus A Threat?

8 Mar

“The Easter Bunny is watching,” “I’ll have to tell Santa Claus,” or “When your father comes home…”

Santa Claus

He's always watching...

Do you ever find yourself using these strategy to change your child’s behavior?

Threats RARELY work in modifying a child’s behavior.

THREATS: consequences that rarely manifest. Threats are ineffective in controlling a child’s behavior.

Consequences need to be immediate to be effective
Tip:

Stop

Redirect

Reinforce


  1. Stop the threats and deal with the behavior immediately.  You could do this by firmly re-directing the child to an appropriate behavior – “You may sit over here and look at this book.” or “Go play with your toys in the other room.”
  2. When attention is the child’s motivation, you may have to walk away or remove the child from your presence.
  3. Once the child is engaged in appropriate behavior, take the opportunity to praise and provide attention for good behavior.

Excited? Nervous? Need To Bite Yourself?

3 Mar

Helping the Self Biting Child

Often young children and children with special needs engage in such behaviors.

I have a student who engages in biting himself on the wrist.

False Teeth

Need to bite?

There are a variety of reasons why he engages in this alarming self-injurious behavior.

When attempting to change a behavior it is important to understand what the function or purpose the behavior serves for the child.

To do this: a functional behavior assessment would  help determine the function of the behavior or the purpose the behavior is serving for the child.

This student engaged in this biting behavior for a number of reasons:

– Excitement

– Frustration with instructional demands

– A request denial

– Reinforced by the sensation

For this child, the behavior appears to be rooted in seeking sensory input at the site of the biting.

Now the challenge is to replace the self-biting with a more appropriate alternative behavior.

Here are a few ideas that were effective with this student:

  1. A beaded bracelet was worn and squeezed instead of biting.
  2. Wear sweat bands with rough velcro sewn on the inside.

These items served the same function as the biting.

This solution was more socially appropriate and less harmful than biting.

For another child, the function may be more orally rooted and the replacement behavior would be very different.

Glaciers & Children Have Something In Common…

22 Feb

THE MELTDOWN

Ice melts from the heat. What melts your child?

Understanding why tantrums happen can help you figure out how to deal with the behavior.

There are usually 4 reasons we engage in certain behaviors:
1. gain a desired item
2. gain desired attention
3. avoid or escape a demand
4. automatic -It feels good or something internal triggers the behavior

Anger and tantrums are contagious and no parent or teacher does their best work when angry.

The first step is to calm down
breathe deeply, model emotional regulation for your child.

Do not try to “fix” a the tantrum situation with rewards.

Offering a child an item will teach him that tantrums are a good behavior for gaining something he wants.

Unless you enjoy tantrum behavior, DO NOT give rewards for tantrums.

This would be reinforcing tantrum behavior and a sure way to see this behavior increase in future occurrence.

TIPS:
1. Avoid talking through a tantrum :
• Usually a child is not listen when upset
• Words will likely add fuel to the fire. (Don’t burn your eyebrows off)
• Silence reminds us to stay calm

KEEP IN MIND:
If the child’s tantrum is to gain attention, you will have reinforced the behavior you want to eliminate!

2. Do not try to “fix” a tantrum causing situation with rewards.
Offering a reward during a tantrum = a sure way to get more tantrums!

Reinforcers: Mud, Money, & Motivations

16 Feb

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. ”-Dwight D. Eisenhower

Don’t be afraid of using reinforcement!
Reinforcement is not bribery.

Bribery occurs when items/activities are offered to a child that is engaging in “bad” behavior to get that child to engage in “good” behavior.

Reinforcement is a process in which items/activities are offered to a child after being good to increase the likelihood that those behaviors will continue and occur more often in the future.

We all engage in activities were we receive reinforcement.

Ex: What controls an individual’s behavior for going to work?

Money is serving as the reinforcement for maintaining going to work.

This may be why individuals winning BIG at the lottery quit their jobs. Money no longer serves as a reinforcer for engaging in work behavior.

Tip:

– When trying to establish a new behavior or strengthen a weak behavior in your child, consider what may serve as a reinforcer or be delivered as reinforcement.

– Save that item or activity only for when your child engages in the desired behavior.

– When your child engages in the desired behavior, deliver the reinforcer immediately.

His reinforcer - MUD! He LOVES it!

Strengthen Good Behavior – Weaken Bad Behavior

31 Jan

Behavior is typically strengthened by attention (positive or negative). Attempt to go out of your way to have positive, pleasant interactions with your child or student – catch them being good!