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Steps to Managing a Child’s Behavior.

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

1. Parents and/or guardians get together to discuss all the areas of concerns for that particular child.

2. Make a list of the top 10 behaviors that are most concerning and prioritize 3 of them.  Working on more than 3 behaviors at a time is very hard to manage both for the child and the parents enforcing them.

3. Safety concerns and behaviors threatening the safety of the child or others around him/her are a priority to be addressed.

4. Each behavior should be assigned specific expectations, the specific consequences for not following it, the specific reward for following the meeting the expectations.

5. The behaviors to be focused on should be decided among the guardians/parents. The rewards and consequences should be predetermined. It is important to think about the consequences closely. The most important factors in the success of such a behavior plan are not the severity of the punishment but the consistency with which it is enforced. Lack of consistency will result in the behavioral plan to backfire.

6. If the child spends time in more than one household guardians in both locations should try and work together on a common behavior plan. This will further improve the outcome.

7. Once the behaviors to be addressed, their appropriate rewards for doing well and the consequences for not following through have been determined by the adults, they should be explained to the kids in a family meeting. From this point on it needs to be enforced rigorously without fail.

8. Expect resistance initially as the child is having to change their habits and patterns they have been used to for a while.

9. It is important that both parents/guardians involved in implementing this behavior plan are consistent and similar in their enforcement of the rules. If one parent does not on follow-up on the consequences provided by the other the child would easily learn to play one against the other and the plan would not be effective.

10. In most kids, but especially kids with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, long-term planning for rewards is harder to do. Using a behavior chart and more reminders can be useful. Parents should plan on more short-term rewards initially, e.g. rewards at the end of the day for doing well.

11. We want the child and the behavior plan to succeed. Thus the initial steps to success should be easier. As the child shows progress, the goals can be made more difficult. Example: if a child who has been struggling with behavior all day in school starts doing well about half a day, that should be sufficient for the ward and encouragement. As he continues to do better the targets should now be doing well all day in order to be rewarded.

12. KEYS TO SUCCESS: Good communication between parents, Good communication with teachers, Consistency of enforcement of rules, Keeping it simple.


Created by Kate Aaknes © 2018 HYD Health 

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