The objective of this article is to offer guidelines that promote a positive education, involving parents, teachers and any professional who works with children, providing an education based on the establishment of standards, clarification of boundaries, affection, preserving the rights of the child and of adults.
I will divide it into 3 blocks: how to favor appropriate behaviors, how to reduce inappropriate behaviors and how to help you be a positive child.
How to reinforce appropriate or pro-social behaviors
It is about selecting the desired or appropriate behaviors to be performed by the child (example: getting to do homework at a certain time, brushing teeth, take care of the brother, leave the clothes in the basket …). For this we use two techniques:
- Positive reinforcement
They are compliments while performing appropriate behavior, social, verbal or recreational awards for doing something appropriate. For example: if he is quietly on the couch watching TV with his little sister, saying “I love you to behave like that, you are a champion”, while we give him a touch on the shoulder.
These reinforcements must be done immediately, while you are doing it. We must use it both with behaviors that we consider correct and that the child performs (to favor the fact that he continues to do so) and with new behaviors that do not exist in his behavioral repertoire. This will favor the increase in the frequency of an already existing behavior although at a low rate.
- Points program
It consists of selecting the behaviors that we want to increase (doing homework, writing down the agenda, going out with friends, brushing teeth …). Once selected we will choose a reinforce for each of them. The idea is to spend time with pleasant activities (watching TV, computer, eating something you like, playing with the child to something that we know you love …).
At first, there must be immediacy between the performance of the desired behavior and the prize. For this, we can make a table that is a schedule of tasks. In the rows, we would indicate the conducts to perform, in the columns the days.
Each time you do one of these behaviors you must put a point (it can be with a sticker, make a cross, color it ), if you do not, that box stays blank (avoid sad faces, negative points, red).
If you forget any of the tasks, you can remind them: “There is something you could do to get another point and you have forgotten, look at the schedule what it is”. In the case of older children, instead of using a table, we could write it as a contract, with the conduct to be performed and the corresponding bonus clause (prize) and sanction clause.
My advice is that if the child does the homework, he receives the prize and if he does not, the sanction is the deprivation of the prize. For example: “if you do your homework you will have free time to play; if you do not do it you will not have it “,” if you eat in 30 minutes you will have the dessert that you like the most; If you do not eat in 30 minutes there will be no dessert. “
How to reduce the frequency of inappropriate behaviors?
Below you can find strategies that try to minimize or reduce all disruptive or dysfunctional behavior.
It consists of “ignoring” the inappropriate behavior of the child (tantrum, anger, threats, insults). Saying “do not do it anymore”, “be quiet”, “I’m going to get angry” … is a way of paying attention to him, so he will continue to do so.
We must remove the reinforcing consequence (attention) to the emission of inappropriate behavior so that the child learns the association between doing something inappropriate – not paying attention to it. We must ignore this type of verbalizations and behaviors, not yielding to them at any time.
- Time Out
It consists of removing the child physically from the current space to move it to his room or another place, for a short space of time. It can also be the parents who leave the place where the child is in the case of being unfeasible what I said above.
It will be done immediately to the dysfunctional behavior, so that the child associates him directly with this action, with a neutral attitude, using a tone of voice as objective as possible, avoiding any attitude of anger, without scolding or shouting.
We will do it without establishing social interaction with him. In the case that the child asks why we do that to him, we will give him a concrete explanation, without emotional charge, of the reason. We can take the child out of the reinforcing situation (for example, instigate him to go to his room and leave the room where he is hitting his brother), or eliminate the stimulus that causes the bad behavior (for example if the child starts to throw with a spoon the food you do not want to eat, remove the spoon).
The application time will be approximately 5 minutes, it will never exceed 10 minutes, and always with supervision. The child may return to the place where he was, or we return to the site where the conflict occurred when his behavior at the last minute was adequate, trying not to do so while displaying inappropriate behavior such as cries, threats, blows
The child “replenishes” the damage caused. You must practice the correct way to perform the task or what you are asked to do. This technique is used for behaviors that cause damage or cause deterioration (for example: intentionally spilling milk on the table).
In these cases, we must encourage the child to undo or repair the damage by positive behavior (in this case picking up spilled milk with a rag). This may not be easy, but it is essential that the child assumes responsibility, recognizing what he has done, solving it as soon as possible.
According to assignment writing services UK, if the child is reluctant to practice, we must help him to perform the correct actions with his hands (if he does not want to pick up, take his hands and guide them as if they were those of a robot, picking them up and depositing them in the right place).
They should ignore crying, tantrums or resistance, trying to keep calm but firm until the task is over or the child begins to do it alone. Let’s not forget, once the task is finished, praise and reinforce obedience.
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