It is important to provide attention for appropriate behavior rather than inappropriate behavior. The goal is to increase the positive interactions while reducing the negative ones. Negative interactions such as arguments, reprimands, lectures and criticism lead to power struggles and more inappropriate behavior. Catch them being good, and acknowledge it! Statements such as “You told me you were mad without screaming”, “You took turns with your sister”, “You picked up the toys on your floor” encourage children to continue appropriate behavior.
Does your child take the opportunity to act out whenever you have guests or visit another home? If so, you are in good company! The good news is PBS techniques work here too. Before the event, pre-correct your child –tell them your behavior expectations. During your visit, if you see them doing the right thing specifically praise that they are. If your child forgets during the visit specifically remind them how they are expected to behave. If however, that unfortunately does not end the undesired behavior, then follow through with the appropriate consequence for their action. It is important for children to understand that you will be consistent with your follow through regardless of the location or audience! Happy Holidays! I hope this helps!
An important part of encouraging children to behave properly is to acknowledge when they do. The key is to tie your praise to the specific behavior that deserves recognition. Instead of saying “you did a great job” try “you did a great job picking up your blocks!” Make sure the feedback you give is accurate, specific and descriptive, and fits your style. By recognizing behaviors you want to see, you give your child more incentive to do them and hopefully reduce the less desirable behaviors that get your attention.
This month the children are learning safety during arrival and departure. Our rules for the children to be SAFE are to use “walking” feet, use handrails on steps, stay with their parents from car to class, and that only parents open doors. To be RESPONSIBLE we ask them to carry their own things, walk to the classroom, and wash their hands upon arrival to their room. (Especially important with the H1N1 virus) Our rules for being KIND are simple; we ask them to use a talking voice in the hallway and to say goodbye to their parent when they arrive in the class. When we teach and reinforce any of the behavior expectations, we only focus on one at a time. If you simply remind your child before they enter the building what you expect to see, they will typically do as you ask. These are things we will discuss in class; however reinforcement from you is the best practice.