Behavior modification for children is most successful when you get an early start! Although it may sound like a mean thing to say (and I love kids!), it's nonetheless true. Training and disciplining children is much like training pets! Behavior modification for children needs to begin early in order to be successful. Think about it. If you brought a puppy home and just let him do as he pleased for the first couple of years, can you imagine what an undisciplined dog you'd end up with in your home? This strategy couldn't possibly work out and your pet would be one unhappy camper, too! While you won't be training and disciplining babies, once they start talking and understand what you're saying, it's a good time to begin a gently conducted program of behavior modification for children to weed out unacceptable behavior. You've got to let Jimmy know that he cannot, under any circumstances, whack his sister over the head because he was mad. No spitting in the house. That sort of thing. You certainly don't want to make your kids into little robots, jumping on their case for every little thing. You just have to draw a line, beyond which an appropriate punishment ensues as a consequence. Some Moms are so harried, particularly with two or more kids who are close in age, that it's difficult to keep their sanity, much less being on top of every misdeed. When you're multi-tasking in the household, the job can be overwhelming. However, behavior modification for children, begun at an early age and mapped out in a consistent planned response, will save you from having to yell at your kids in the grocery store, a few years down the road, in order to control them. You love your kids so much, they're so cute and lovable, it's difficult to crack down on the little sweeties. This is why you need a plan. Your successful behavior modification for children model may require a bit of behavior modification on your part! As Franklin Roosevelt said, it's best to walk softly and carry a big stick. What we mean here is that you should not be yelling at your kids when you're correcting them. You're the adult. You must adopt a calm, firm and gentle demeanor, speaking in a normal tone of voice. When you lose control of your emotions, how do you expect a kid will respond? He or she will assume that everything's OK until you start yelling at them. They'll also learn, by example, to yell at you when they're displeased. This can trigger problems that last for many years, well into the teens and beyond. Avoid losing your cool. It might be a good idea to make a list of absolutely unacceptable behaviors that you can look over with Dad and come to a mutual agreement on the specific consequences of various infractions. Let's say your child steals something from a friend or at a store. You cannot condone this behavior. In this case, your behavior modification for children plan should have a consistent consequence, delivered in a no-nonsense tone. Tell the child that he must return the item, and apologize for his action. To drive home the no-stealing policy, you might augment the lesson by taking the child's favorite toy or book (no teddy bears or other security related items) and letting him know you will keep possession of the item for a week. Gently let him know that you realize this is a disappointment to him, but you want him to understand the feelings of losing something by theft. Most likely, he'll find this outrageous, having a tantrum or crying hysterically. However, at the end of the week, when you return his 'stolen' item, he will have gained some empathy for the person who was his victim. There's no need for harsh words or meanness. Just the facts, delivered firmly, with a consequence should do the trick. When you set a well planned, behavior modification program for children in place during the early years, you will have a much smoother road when the kids hit their teens.
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