ABCs of behavior:
A stands for Action that initiates a behavior i.e. you ask your child to complete his/her homework.
B stands for Behavior i.e. your child has a tantrum or says he/she has no homework.
C stands for Consequence i.e. your child has a tantrum and gets grounded.
First rule: Be consistent and following through with the limit that you set.
Second rule: Make a request i.e. please pick up your room. Set a specific time you want the directive completed i.e. clean your room within fifteen minutes. Finally let your child know what will happen if the directive is not completed i.e. you will lose TV for two days.
Third rule: Make sure the request is fair and the punishment fits the request i.e. your child did not brush his/her teeth and you punish from TV the next day. (Too harsh)
Fourth rule: Do not reduce the consequence based upon good behavior or completion of the first directive i.e. your child is good for four days and wants to go to the movies with a friend but the punishment was six days. (He/she still has to wait for six days)
Issue a command: Please go brush your teeth.
Give a time limit for command to be completed i.e. count to five.
Tell the child if he/she does not start the task within five seconds, a time out will be given.
Send child to time out if the task has not been completed.
The length of the time out should not exceed the age of the child i.e. a five year old child gets a five minute time out.
After the time out is completed, talk with your child about his/her understanding of why he/she was in time out.
The child then goes and completes the task that you had asked them to complete. ( brushing his/her teeth)
Active Ignoring: 1. Walking away from a situation when your child tries to get you in a power struggle or 2. Taking away the audience when your child is having a tantrum.
Stay calm: It demonstrates that you are in control even though your child may not be.
Keep your word: Follow through despite the setting. (Out in public/at your house). Give the reward or consequence when you say you are going to do it.
Immediate response: Give the consequence or reward quickly after the behavior. This reinforces the response you are trying to get.
Be mindful: Remember the motto “do as I say not as I do.” You are the biggest influence in your child’s life. Your child will model his/her reaction to a situation based upon how you have handled a similar situation.
Physical functioning: Be aware that your child’s physical functioning has a large part on how your child handles situations. If your child is hungry, tired or sick then he/she is not going to be as resilient as you would expect.
Issue one direction at a time: Sometimes children get overloaded and can only handle one direction at a time. Also, some children are a visual learner, which means that they need to see as well as hear the direction. (Show them how to tie their shoe will tell them).
BE CONSISTENT: Discipline in the same way every time to allow your child to know what the rules and expectations are.
Develop a token system:
Establish a reward that your child wants i.e. going to Carowinds, buying a video game, going to the park.
Establish the behavior(s) that your child must show to get the reward.
Identify how many tokens your child will need to earn to receive the reward.
You can break down the distribution of the token by minutes, hours, days or weeks. This needs to depend on the severity of the behavior you are trying to change.
Have the token be displayed so it is a visual reminder to the child the benefit of their effort.
You may not take away what has been earned i.e. if your child has a really bad day, they do not lose all of the tokens he/she has already earned.