Behavior management can be a huge headache for parents, especially if the current method of regulating habits is not working. Many parents are sometimes tempted to throw in the towel if children are simply not willing to clean up after themselves, do their homework, or just be good kids. The only thing that (helps) brings back (a semblance of) sanity is the realization that, ‘yes, this is my child and I want the best for him/her.’
Behavior Management For Kids
All is not lost! In fact, there are a number of effective ways to monitor and manage the behavior of any child. The best way to choose a system that works is to apply decide on what your criteria are before you settle on it.
For starters, the method you select should work without making you, the parent, seem to be constantly nagging your kids. It should also be a simple system that does not come go against your character and paint a picture of you to your children that you don’t want them to have.
Equally important, it should not be too brutal. You do not want create a sense of resentment in your own children. you want to teach them, not cause emotional scars. The method of behavior management you choose should seek to balance between parental tenderness and moral firmness.
The reason for a method’s effectiveness is that it is a good fit for kids of all ages. The system needs to foster discipline through the recognition of desired habits from a child’s actions, motivating the expression of good habits in future by offering a simple reward in return.
For younger kids, the rewards do not need to be monetary. Use charts and stickers to manage the behavior of several kids all at once, for example. You can associate good habits with certain colors and associate bad habits with different colors. You might design a chart that has the color green for ‘good behavior’ and color yellow for a ‘warning’; and uses red for ‘bad behavior’ , while pink means ‘showing improvement’. In the morning, all the children have their names in the green zone. As the time goes by, names are moved around the chart depending on the behavior of their owners. You need to take care not to overuse the red and the yellow areas, since that can create resentment and possibly cause conflict between kids or even between the kids and you.
This system (as well as any behavior modification system that you use) should be used for targeting a few habits at a time, usually only around two to four behaviors. It is helpful to pick one behavior that your kid is already good at and another one that they is working on, as well as a third that they are struggling with.
For older children, the ‘token economy’ program works in a different way. For every impressive improvement in a target area, there is a token given as a reward. The child accumulates the tokens for as long as they want. These tokens can be redeemed for some kind of larger reward, ranging from pocket money to an ice cream trip to whatever reward would motivate your child. In the end, the child will be well-behaved, with the desired habits and also a means of getting what they want funded by the parent without too much hassle. Both sides win.