Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ten Essential Guiding Strategies

Ignoring Behavior
Sometimes ignoring minor misbehavior will result in the lack of attention towards it causing the behavior to be abandoned. Be careful though that it doesn’t backfire and become a larger problem.

Active Listening and “I” Messages
Respond to feelings as well as words. Repeat what the child says and offer nonjudgmental statements from a personal perspective.

Inner satisfaction can be a result of positive reinforcement. Attention, hugs, smiles, etc. can be motivators. Avoid tokens or gold stars. Discipline, not punishment, may be a form of negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement develops strong self-esteem and a willingness to continue the desired behavior and look for more opportunities to do well.

Redirecting the Activity
Discover what it is that the children really want to do and find an acceptable way of helping them to this goal. Throwing rocks can be redirected into throwing balls, stomping can be redirected into marching and dancing.

Giving Choices
Be prepared for the child’s response and its consequences. Help the child to fully understand the details of the choice. Make the choice reasonable but give the child the chance to feel that they are an active participant in the choice.

Setting Limits
Children must know their boundaries in the school setting so that they feel secure in their safety, physically, socially and emotionally.

Active Problem Solving
Offer open-ended questions to start a dialogue for possible solutions. Avoid blame. Think through the solutions. Intervene only as necessary; let the children do it on their own.

Often appropriate with younger children. Must be quick!

Natural and Logical Consequences
Taking responsibility for actions results in consequences be they good or bad. Learning about consequences lets the adult remain neutral and the actions speak for themselves. Logical consequences are dependent on adult follow-through based on a decision.

Time Out
Be careful not to impose a sense of rejection. Use a time out as a cooling off period so that the child can calm down and respond in appropriate ways to a situation.

By: Dianna Dammir

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