Understanding Your Child’s Behavior


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Understanding Your Child’s Behavior

  1. 1. Understanding and Improving Your Child’s Behavior By Shari Jackson “Children need encouragement like a plant needs water.” Dreikurs
  2. 2. Introduce the person sitting next to you and share:  Where they are from.  How Many children they have.  What is their biggest parenting challenge.  What is their greatest parenting success. Example: “This is ________. He/She is from _________. He/She has ____ child/children. His/Her biggest parenting challenge is __________. He/She is confident about __________.” Ice Breaker
  3. 3. About Me: My name is Shari Jackson. I am from Wethersfield, CT. I have one child and two step-children. My biggest parenting challenge is trying to always use logical consequences. I am confident about my ability to be consistent. Background:         Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in Psychology Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education Teacher for 26 Years Former Day Care Director/Assistant Director/Teacher Working With Children With Intense Behavioral Needs for 20 Years Mother of A Child With Intense Behavioral Needs Step-Mother To Two Typically-Developing, Teenagers One thing that I learned from my children is how little I really knew.
  4. 4. I hope to: To Share information, ideas and resources  To Provide support  To Reinforce the positives  My Goals
  5. 5. When We Thought About Having Children, We Imagined That Life Would Be A Lot Like This… The Joys of Parenting
  6. 6. We Did Not Imagine That Life Would Sometimes Be A Lot Like This…Or Worse. The Challenges of Parenting
  7. 7. Rudolph Dreikurs (Was A Child Psychologist And Educator). He Believed That Children Misbehaved In Order To, Mistakenly, Gain:     Attention Power or Control Revenge (A Display of) Feelings of Inadequacy or Helplessness Why Do Children Misbehave?
  8. 8. According to Dreikurs:     If the parent feels annoyed, then the child’s goal is attention getting. If the parent feels beaten or intimidated, then the child’s goal is power. If the parent feels hurt, then the child’s goal is revenge. If the parent feels incapable, then the child’s goal is helplessness. How Do We Know What The Child Is Trying To Gain?
  9. 9. “I believe that children act out and misbehave, not because they or their parents are bad, but because they are either attempting to communicate a need or are demonstrating a learned behavior taught to them by the world that surrounds and guides them. “ Why Do Children Misbehave or Act Out? (Bill Corbett author of the award-winning book, “Love, Limits & Lessons: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Cooperative Kids)
  10. 10. Your Child Hit Another Child At School, After That Child Refused to Share a Toy. What Would You Do?
  11. 11. Your Child Argues When It Is Time To Clean Up. What Would You Do?
  12. 12. Your Child Is talking To You While You Are On The Phone. What Would You Do?
  13. 13. Parenting Styles
  14. 14. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Recognize What Is Not Working And Change It.
  15. 15. "A child who seeks attention should not receive it when he acts out. To give attention to the child for inappropriate behavior would be playing into the child's plan and would not help the child learn how to behave productively." Attention Ignore (Whenever Possible) Set Aside Some Time For Some 1-on-1 Time, Daily Encourage Appropriate Behavior (This Gives The Child Attention And Encourages More Positive Behavior In The Future). Wolfgang (2001)
  16. 16. “For those kids who learn that defiance helps them get their way, you’ll see their urge to become defiant grow stronger and stronger. A typical trap many parents fall into is developing a pattern of giving in as the child wears them down.” Power Struggle Don’t Attend Every Fight That You Are Invited To Disengage/Detach Wait For Calm, If Possible Restate Expectations If Possible, Give Limited Choices Briefly, State Logical Consequences Follow Though, EVERY Time When The Struggle Is Resolved, Encourage And Discuss Possible Solutions Or Alternative Behavior http://www.empoweri ngparents.com/Power -Struggles-with-aDefiantChild.php#ixzz2LNXQ R8lp
  17. 17. “A child who seeks revenge is really hoping to find love. Their vengeful behavior is showing us that they feel so bad about themselves, and so misunderstood, that they are resorting to wanting others to feel what they feel.” Revenge Remove the Audience Logical Consequences for Misbehavior Use a great deal of compassion. When the Struggle is Resolved, Help Nurture a Better Opinion of Self "I really care about you and I didn't raise you to be vengeful. That's why I have ask you to go to your room now until you can treat us better." http://robinwalker.hy permart.net/makingc hildtherapywork/why_ do_children_misbehav e.html
  18. 18. “The child who shows inadequacy or helplessness is the most discouraged. She has lost all initiative. The parent must exercise great patience and attempt to show the child that she is capable“ Inadequacy Take Tasks One Step at a Time Recognize and Appreciate All and Any Success (No Matter How Small) Be Encouraging and Show Faith in the Child Give Tasks That You Know He/She Can Achieve Teach Positive Self-Talk Make Mistakes Okay, Over-Illustrate Your Mistakes Build Confidence Focus on Past Success Wolfgang (2001)
  19. 19. Natural/logical consequences and encouragement are the most useful techniques for preventing behavior problems. Logical Consequences Encouragement
  20. 20.  praise (prz), n. Expression of approval, commendation, or admiration. I am very proud of you! Praise Can Invite Dependency.  en·cour·age (n-kûrj, -kr-) To inspire with hope, courage, or confidence; hearten. To give support to; foster. You must be very proud of yourself! Encouragement Can Teach the Child How to Be Self Motivated. Praise Versus Encouragement
  21. 21. Punishment You have broken your brother’s toy. Go to your room.  Often aimed at penalty.  Can be viewed very negatively.  Seems unfair.  No choices are allowed. Natural Consequences You have broken your brother’s toy. You will have to use your money to buy a new toy.  Avoids Power Struggle.  Makes More Sense To You Child.  Can Be Part of A Choice (If you don’t pick up your toys now, then you will have to pick them up, later, while we are watching a movie.).  Can Change Thinking Patterns. Punishment Versus Natural Consequences
  22. 22. Logical or Natural Consequences Should Be: Respectful Be clear. Use a calm tone of voice. Focus on the deed not the doer.  Relevant Help the child to understand cause and effect. References the rules. Clarify what happens when the rules are broken. Focus on accountability.  Realistic The child will have an age appropriate and reasonable follow through. The time frame makes sense. You will be prepared to follow through and not make empty threats.  The Three R's of Logical Consequences (Education World, 2011)
  23. 23.  If you break it, fix it or pay for it.  If you don’t use something, appropriately, you don’t get to use it for a certain period of time.  If you accidently hurt someone, you apologize and help them up or help them to get an ice pack, if they are hurt.  If you hurt someone’s feelings, you can write an apology letter or draw a picture to apologize.  If you waste time, you have to complete the task when the rest of the family is involved in a fun activity.  If you don’t finish your homework, you cannot watch TV.  If your child speaks rudely to you, you refuse to listen.  If the behavior may be related to exhaustion, he/she can have an earlier bed time.  If your child persists in breaking a family rule, he/she is asked to take a time out until he/she feels that he/she can comply with the rules. Upon return, ask your child to tell you his/her plan for complying with the family rule. Examples of Logical Consequences
  24. 24. Discipline(Natural Consequences) Versus Punishment Table
  25. 25. Effective Discipline             Establish Limits And Routines That Will Help Your Child to Build Inner Controls Redirect, When Possible Foster Independence Encourage Cooperation Be Loving And Be Firm Require Respect, Give Respect Remember That You Are Not A Friend Be Consistent And Clear, Don’t Threaten Be Involved And Be Open Set A Good Example And Stay Calm Take Care of Yourself Know That What You Do Really Matters Other Important Keys to Success
  26. 26. 1-2-3 Magic Love, Limits, & Lessons Recommended Reading
  27. 27. According to Dr. Sears in his article, "Disciplining the Special-Needs Child”, parenting a child who has special needs can pose many special frustrations. Disciplining a child who is "differently-abled" is likely to bring out the best and the worst in a parent. The following are points, made by Dr. Sears should be considered: 1. Don't compare Comparing your child to others in the same age group is not fair. Enjoy your child for who he/she is and try not to focus on the problems. Do not let your child’s condition become a project that can distract from the whole family. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  28. 28. 2. Change your standards Before a baby is born, parents imagine what life will be like: piano lessons, baseball star, college, etc. Even with a child who is typically developing, you will have to reconcile your dreams. Set appropriate standards for your child. Understand his/her developmental level. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  29. 29. 3. Different doesn't mean inferior In children's logic, being different equates with being inferior. This feeling may be more of a problem for siblings and other kids than for the child who is developmentally-delayed, at least in the early years. Most children measure their self-worth by how they believe others perceive them. Be sure the child's siblings don't fall into this "different equals less" trap. This is why the term "special needs" is not only socially correct, but it's a positive term, not a value judgment. In reality, all children could wear this label. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  30. 30. 4. Different doesn't mean fragile While it is true you have to change your expectations of a child with special needs, you don't have to lower your standards of discipline! It's tempting to get lax and let children with special needs get by with behaviors you wouldn't tolerate in other children. He needs to know, early on, what behavior you expect. Many parents wait too long to start behavior training. Like all children, this child must be taught to adjust to family routines, to obey, and to manage himself. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  31. 31. 5. Provide structure All children need structure. Children with special needs, need developmentally appropriate structure. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  32. 32. 6. Beware of the over attachment syndrome It is very easy for your whole life to revolve around your special style of parenting, to the extent that it becomes an end in itself. This is a lose-lose situation. You lose the joy of parenting, and you lose your ability to be flexible. Eventually, you will either burn out or you will break. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  33. 33. 7. View behaviors as signals of needs Everything children do tells you something about what they need. This principle is particularly true for children with special needs. Often times the conduct can signal a need. In this case, a replacement behavior can be a solution. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  34. 34. 8. Value the child Don’t focus on the disability. Feeling loved and valued helps a child cope with the lack of a particular ability. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  35. 35. 9. Help your child build a sense of responsibility There is a natural tendency to want to rush in and do things for a child who is developmentally-delayed. For these children, the principle of "teach them how to fish rather than give them a fish" applies doubly. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies being given responsibility gives the child a sense of value and raises her self-worth. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  36. 36. 10. Give your child choices (Be sure you like all the alternatives.) Initially, you may have to guide your child into making a choice, but just the ability to make a choice helps the child feel important. Present the choices in the child's language, which may mean using pictures, pointing, and reinforcing your verbal instructions (which may not be fully understood) with visual ones. The more you use this exercise, the more you will learn about your child's abilities, preferences, and receptive language skills at each stage of development. Discipline For Children Who Are “Differently-Abled”
  37. 37. Our children can be our best teachers.
  38. 38.          Children Misbehave to Mistakenly Gain Attention, Power/Control, Revenge, Helplessness. When Parents Understand the Goal of Behavior They Are Better Equipped to Teach Appropriate Behavior. Use Logical Consequences Versus Punishment. Use Encouragement Versus Praise. All Children Need Structure; Children With Special Needs, Require Developmentally Appropriate Structure. Change Your Expectations, But Don’t Lower Your Standards of Discipline. Children Need to Know, Early on, What Behavior You Expect. To Find Success, All children Must Be Taught to Adjust to Family Routines, to Obey, and to Manage Himself. Take Care of Yourself and Enjoy Your Children. Key Points
  39. 39. I Know We Can!
  40. 40. Thank you for coming to this presentation! Questions?? Shari Jackson