GPS PPS Parent Update
March 18, 2020
Implementing School Behavior Plans at Home
Positive reinforcement is an important habit for parents to develop because it is easy to ignore children when they're behaving appropriately. It is the disruptive and irritating behavior we tend to notice and respond to.
Train yourself to show your children you appreciate their efforts and that you recognize the things they do well.
In fact, using positive reinforcement is an easy way to decrease the negative behavior. The use of positive reinforcers can help you encourage your child to do everyday tasks you need him/her to perform: changing clothes, brushing teeth, and even getting to bed on time. For the greatest impact, start with only one to two behaviors that you would like to reinforce and provide frequent praise along with any other positive reinforcements that motivate your child.
Here is another great website that outlines steps to reinforce small changes in behavior that can lead to bigger changes. It explains the importance of positive reinforcement, modeling, and repetition.
In addition, take a look at your child's behavior plan if they have one, specifically the Prevention/ Antecedent Control section, to see what strategies you can put in place to help prevent the problem behavior from occurring. For example, providing two choices of academic activities for your child to choose from, using a visual schedule of the day at home so your child knows what to expect and/or using a timer to signal a transition.
The Replacement Behavior section contains the skills that we are working on teaching your child to use rather than the problem behavior. Your child may still need support with these skills and may not have mastered them on their own yet. For example, asking for a break, asking for help and utilizing coping strategies (i.e., taking deep breaths, smell the flower, blow out the candle, etc…). Modeling, role-playing and the use of visuals are just a few ways to help practice these skills.
The Maintenance section is the part that shows what the reinforcement plan is. As stated above, as much positive reinforcement as you can give for the appropriate or expected behaviors, your child will be more likely to engage in those behaviors rather than the negative or unexpected behavior(s). For example, your child may be using a token system at school, where he/she earns a token (i.e., sticker, coin) each time they follow a direction and once they reach a certain number they gain access to a preferred item.
The last section of the Behavior Intervention Plan is Manage Consequences. This section outlines how to address the behavior if it does occur and the preventative strategies do not work. Again our hope is that with the preventative/ proactive strategies and reinforcement of the replacement behaviors, the unexpected or negative behavior will not occur, but given the new circumstances that we are facing that may not be true in the beginning. Try to remain calm, as children react to our behaviors (verbal and nonverbal) as parents and follow the steps that are listed. For example, if your child earns a token for following directions, if your child does not follow directions then they would not earn the token and then you may review the expectation and review the replacement behaviors. Another example, if your child is trying to escape a task by engaging in unexpected or inappropriate behaviors (i.e., crying, screaming, dropping to the floor, getting physically aggressive) you may keep the demand in place and use "First___, Then___" language or you may offer a choice, “You can do ____ or blank___.”
10 Quick Wins for Behavior Change
Addressing Distance Learning Behaviors
1) Find a good location for school work to be completed. Set up a work center,
decide if your child needs quiet or does better with background noise, clear away clutter, create a bulletin board or whiteboard with “to-dos.”
2) Establish set times for work to be completed and KEEP consistent. Set a
timer, make a schedule (good opportunity to give your child some control) build
in breaks and tie fun activities to work completion.
3) Make an agenda for the day. Go over goals and what needs to be accomplished. Help the child break down things in small steps so it is more manageable.
4) Start with things they find more challenging or less desirable first so they don’t leave them at the end. This way they will be more motivated to finish. Leaving more rewarding or easier things to do last will help with task completion.
5) Motivate children by tying in concrete rewards for work completion and other household expectations… can be given daily or can be more elaborate and long term.
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