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Changing Negative Behavior Habits
As parents, it is our responsibility to guide and discipline our children, and create a safe, welcoming home for the whole family. Maintaining a positive relationship while supporting and encouraging children is as important to their development as any intervention, treatment or special program. This does not mean ignoring, excusing or accepting problem behavior without consequences.
At younger ages, temporarily removing the child from the situation may be the most appropriate and effective response. We may need to first observe to see what the trigger in a situation sets a child off, and work from that point.
It is important for younger children to teach them and then encourage a less unacceptable substitute behavior. Sometimes behaviors become more extreme when new rules are introduced, but children need to test the limits so they know what is really expected. Having faith in the capability of our children is most important at these times.
One of the most commonly heard suggestions among professionals who study children with challenging behaviors is to 'catch them being good.' Giving them attention and praise when they are behaving like we would like them to act more often is amazingly rewarding to children.
Another suggestion is to use affirmations in our daily exchanges with our children. Saying things like, "It's nice being with you," "I'm glad we are together," "You are a wonderful son/daughter," or "I'm so happy that I am your mom" can cause unexpected positive changes in their behavior as well as our responses to their sporadic behavioral shortcomings.
It is never a good idea to label a child; a behavior may be unacceptable but it should not be used to define the child. Likewise, it is better to use 'people first' language when introducing a child's special needs.
Sometimes it's best to write two or three rules and post them on the refrigerator, to divert a power struggle between child and parent to a contract between the child and the refrigerator. This is a surprisingly good aid for learning to read and tell time.
Browse at your public library, local bookstore and online retailer for books like Mental Wellness in Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome - A Guide to Emotional and Behavioral Strengths and Challenges
by Dennis McGuire and Brian Chicoine or Parent Magic - One Two Three Magic - Products
Behavior, Behavior, Behavior
Applied Behavior Analysis
Help Me with My Toddler!
Please read this article before implementing ABA in your classroom or home:
Making an Argument for Social Skills Support in School
Review of Social Relationships and Peer Support by Rachel Janney & Martha Snell
Dr. Mac's Amazing Behavior Management Advice Site for Teachers - Thomas McIntyre
University of Oregon Resources
Positive Behavior Support at School
University of Oregon Resources
Difficult Behaviors and Successful Interventions
Function Based Support at School
One Two Three Magic
Brookes Publishing Co Article
Bringing It Home: Positive Behavior Support
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