Are you begging your child to cooperate?

Photo by Tobyotter via Flickr

Photo by Tobyotter via Flickr

We all want our kids to behave well. We want them to do what they should and when they should do it. We want them to earn the spoils of behaving properly. We create some of these “spoils” ourselves in the form of sticker charts, trips to the ice cream shop or dollar bills.

But, are there situations when we try too hard to get our kids to earn what we have arranged? I think so. Continue reading

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Your kid’s “RED day” at school and what it means

photo by USAG-Humphreys via Flickr

photo by USAG-Humphreys via Flickr

One of the most common classroom behavior management systems I see in elementary schools is the traffic light level system wherein students “on green” have shown good behavior and those with not-so-good behavior are either “on yellow” or have the dreaded “red day” if the behavior is bad enough. Some teachers might still use the smiley face system (e.g., smiley, straight face, frowny face), might have more than three colors, or might use the school mascot (e.g., “a green fox day”), but they are all based on the same idea. However, they are used incredibly differently across teachers, so:

Here are some things to ask your child’s teacher and why it matters Continue reading

3 Reasons behavior plans fail and what to do about it.

photo by Matt Erasmus via Flickr

photo by Matt Erasmus via Flickr

Sometimes parents tell me their behavior plan or reward system worked for a little while, but then stopped working. “He just didn’t care about it anymore,” they often say.

I always try to figure out why these things “fail” so I can help the next plan be more likely to succeed. Here is my list of the three reasons behavior plans fail: Continue reading

Pull this Bandaid off slowly – How to stop reward systems

photo by ngader via Flickr

photo by ngader via Flickr

Am I always going to have to do this?”

Some parents might worry if you start a certain prevention strategy (e.g., bringing books to a restaurant) or a reward strategy (e.g., “Am I always going to have to give her these stickers for cleaning up her room?”), you will always have to keep doing it.

The concern, I think, is these “BehaviorBandAids” (if you will) take too much effort or attention to maintain over long periods of time. Another concern is, “at some point he needs to be able to do this just because and not because he gets something from me.”

I get it…I really do. Continue reading