Monday, August 04, 2008

How do you deal with poor behavior in your child?

I know as a teacher we are limited to praise for good behavior and consequences for poor behavior. So I had to give praise often, but also found that a reward system, such as a treasure chest prize at the end of the day or week (depending on age level) worked to keep the majority of students motivated and well behaved.
by (satrapi)

Many times just keeping or earning their star back for the day was enough to keep them motivated. There were only a few, and always will be a few, who will want to push the limits and of course time-out was usually their consequence. They would miss out on certain activities such as playground time, etc. We find ourselves having to put our own son (currently four years old) in timeout or taking privileges away for misbehavior. However, while potty training he was rewarded with something he wanted such as gummy bears and then when he became fully potty trained we told him his summer kids camp was his reward.

A few other things that can help with rewarding, preventing or redirecting bad behavior include:
  • spending time with your child (often they are bored)
  • make sure your child is well fed
  • make sure your child has enough sleep
  • allow tv/computer time for positive behavior

I think rewards can work successfully with certain age groups and for certain behaviors, however I also believe it shouldn't be the only form of motivation children get for good or positive behavior.

Overall, I don't think there is any perfect solution to resolving children's behavior problems. Some children are more calm-tempered while others need constant reminding and retraining. What's important to remember is to maintain control of ourselves, not lash out at our children by reacting in anger or punishing. We need to seek patience, especially with younger children because they are still learning many social skills.

Finally, learning is a repetitive process which involves patience, repetition and consistent guidance to train our children to behave the way we expect. Rewards and consequences, such as taking away privileges, are tools for guiding that learning process.

How do you deal with poor behavior in your child? Do you react and punish or reward and redirect?

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I think a lot of bad behavior is misinterpreted. I saw a lady in the store angry at her daughter for hitting her sister. What she didn't see was the sister accidentally knocking her into the watermelons. The sister didn't even realize it had happened.

I am a Certified Parent Educator and I teach courses on Redirecting Children's Behavior. Rewards do work but they aren't good for a long term solution...the same goes for time outs.

Redirection is the only thing that I suggest (and use with my son) but with every child - and every unique personality and temperament - there are different techniques to use.

It's not easy but then again, no one said parenting would be.

Great work dear

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