Behavior Modification at Home
Written By: Amanda Rinehart
HAPPY SUMMER BREAK! Most everyone has finished the school year and e-learning as the primary mode of learning is hopefully a thing of the past. There are many different theories going around about how the beginning of the new school year will look, but right now it’s time to relax a little and give yourself a much-deserved break. However, one thing you may not want to lose grip of is behavior management.
We have been in our homes for months and I know that I am guilty of taking the path of least resistance just to not have to address the problem one more time. That’s ok! Sometimes…
It’s a really good time to reassess your children’s behavior and how you discipline them. According to an essay from the Journal of Child and Family Studies in 2014, 37% of children up to the age of 17, had been spanked. The document goes on to say that the lasting positive impact of corporal punishment, “spanking”, was nearly zero, but the negative outcomes were substantial. To name a few, it stated that spanking leads to more aggressive individuals, higher rates of mental health needs, and a significantly weakened bond between parent and child.
Summertime, to me, is fun in the sun, swimming, playing at parks, exploring outdoors, barbecues, and general family bonding. But, as in all things good and fun, a little bit of work still remains necessary. Positive behavior management is the recommendation by pediatricians in the United States.
Finding ways to recognize the good behaviors children exhibit and rewarding their efforts is proven extremely effective. According to Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), punishment does not teach anything. Here are some suggestions for alternatives to punishment:
- Teach and re-teach expectations.
- Provide choices.
- Remove the stimulus.
- Develop a behavior plan with your kids, utilizing their input.
- Remember that eliminating the negative behavior is the intended outcome…not winning.
By no means am I proposing that you allow your children to run your home. It is crucial that they understand that your efforts as a loving adult are non-negotiable. But, this does not mean that they can’t be a part of making some of the decisions or be recognized for making positive ones. I am also not saying that you should ignore maladaptive behavior.
My suggestion is for you to evaluate how you approach the undesirable behavior, and consider what is working or not. Incorporate your non-negotiables, prepare your kids for the guaranteed repercussions of violation of the non-negotiables, and try to make some positive changes during this time of rest and relaxation. Your kids’ teachers will thank you and you’ll be one step closer to creating an adult that you’d love to have as a neighbor.
To read more about positive discipline, check out these books: Positive Discipline:
- The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills
- Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, Revised and Updated Edition: From Infant to Toddler–Laying the Foundation for Raising a Capable, Confident
- Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills
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