Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Positive Discipline That WORKS!

As promised and spoken about in this post, here are the steps on the positive discipline approach we have recently begun.

Here is each different step with instructions and goals for each:

Goal: The child learns to make appropriate behavior choices
Do: 1. Explain inappropriate behavior
        2. Give choices for appropriate behavior (look for motivation of behavior)
        3. Wait to hear the child's choice
        4. Reinforce appropriate behavior
DON'T:  GIve choices the child doesn't like or ones that are not really choices, allow inappropriate behavior to reoccur, or dwell on inappropriate behavior, as giving it attention reinforces it.

The last statement really goes along well with the "1-2-3 Magic" technique of not re hashing the situation after a time out, not explaining why the child was put there to begin with, because of their ability to understand at their age, and the fact that they just don't care to hear it at such a young age. It's not going to make them understand it any quicker.

Calm Down Time
Goal: Stops the inappropriate behavior and teaches appropriate behavior
Do: 1. Explain the technique i.e. "You need to leave this area until you are in control of your behavior." or "You are showing me you need to calm down. Please join us when you are ready to follow the rules."
        2. Allow the child to return whenever he/she is ready
        3. Reinforce the appropriate behavior i.e. "Thanks for joining us. I like the way you are building." Model the technique when you need to have a moment to calm down.

Goal: Reinforcement to support a specific behavior in hopes or it recurring
Do: 1. Cite the event specifically i.e. "You remembered to wash your hands. I am proud of your behavior."
DON'T: Couple with negative comparisons i.e. "That was a nice job for a little boy." This is a condescending statement to a child.

Active Listening
Goal: Clarify the child's feelings to help them solve their own problems
Do: Reflect the feeling and content of what the child is saying and showing with acceptance
DON'T: Ask questions, reason, give advice, or encourage action

Goal: Helps child understand their action and its result
Child is responsible for own action
Natural Consequences: Direct result - cold hands resulting from no mittens
Logical Consequences: Provided by the adult, related to the behavior, occurs every time, and acceptable to the adult - putting blocks out of reach for a while when they are being thrown

Goal: Make inappropriate behavior appropriate
Do: 1. Change tool or location
        2. Explain why
        3. Encourage activity

Modify the Environment
Goal: Change surroundings/tool to encourage or discourage behavior
Add: Introduce material of child's interest - broaden play areas
Limit: Reduce activity/tool - restrict play to particular area
Change: Add a helping tool - put object within/outside child's reach

Goal: Not reinforcing inappropriate behavior with attention
Do: 1. Ignore it, give it NO attention
        2. Reinforce when behavior becomes appropriate 
        Cannot be used for destructive or dangerous behavior

Extinction is a big one we use when swearing or other naughty language occurs, and it definitely works. I simply ignore the child using the bad language or words and focus on the child that isn't using that language, or go about my cleaning or whatever task I am doing. When they see they are not getting a response from their negative behavior, they stop doing it. Of course it takes a little time for it to really work and kick in, but it definitely does work well. 

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