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Shaping Behavior with Young Children

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1 Shaping Behavior with Young Children
ECC Informational Night: 11/7/13 Presented By: Katie Colianne, Jean Houston and Lisa Murphy

2 Question for Parents What does your child do to get your attention?

3 Parents… The most powerful tool you possess is that your child utterly adores you! Your child NEEDS your attention more than anything else- and he or she will fight HARD to get it!

4 Guiding Behavior of Your Child
Involves establishing mutual respect and expecting cooperation. Through effective discipline: Children can learn to make positive choices Learn problem solving skills Learn values of respect and responsibility

5 Strategies for Guiding Behavior
Always focus on the behavior Have a clear set of rules and routines Be consistent Structure the environment to support appropriate behavior Allow children to make acceptable choices Concentrate on shaping positive behavior

6 What is “Shaping?” Shaping:
A great way to help kids learn new behaviors. It is a step-by-step process. Provides your child with cues and reinforcements that direct him or her towards a desirable behavior. Instead of expecting your child to master a new behavior all at once, shaping your child’s behavior means you are reinforcing each small step toward the bigger goal.

7 Question for Parents… Your child is throwing toys at a wall. You want your child to play appropriately with his toys! What would you do?

8 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Besides using natural consequences to teach you can set up “parent made” consequences. Examples: A child kept slamming her door, parent gave many warnings and explained that if this behavior continues she will not longer the privacy of a door. The parent finally took the door off as the consequence when the behavior did not stop.

9 3 steps to help support the problem
Identify the Problem: What is your child doing that you don’t like? Catch Good Behavior: Watch him ‘like a hawk’ to catch good behavior (the way you want him to be acting) Releasing the Power of your Attention: Stop what you are doing, go over to the child and give him your attention (e.g. play with him, talk with him about what he is doing)

10 Solution using the ‘3 steps’
Identify the Problem: Your child is throwing toys. Catching Good Behavior: Catch him when he is playing quietly with toys, keeping toys on the ground. Releasing the Power of your Attention: Stop what you are doing, go sit next to him, play with the toys, show interest in what the child is doing.

11 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Praise If you want to see a behavior continue, praise the behavior, not the child. For example: “I like the way you are cleaning your room” instead of “good girl or good boy.” Change the delivery of your praise. Examples: “I like the way you put the toys in the bucket,” “What a great job you are doing cleaning your room.” “Your room looks so neat!” “That was a great choice to put the clothes in the dirty hamper!”

12 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Selective Ignoring If you do not like the behavior and it is not dangerous or intolerable, ignore it! Examples: Your child is not ‘sitting’ at the dinner table, but he or she is ‘standing’ but still eating and participating in conversation. What other behaviors can you ignore?

13 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
3. Help your child learn that choices have consequences. These lessons come from real life and children learn self discipline. Children must experience the consequences of their actions in order to learn from them. Talk through each situation and your child will learn that he is happier and life runs more smoothly when he makes wise decisions. Examples: Expect your preschooler to clean up his messes, let your child explore, fail, bump and learn. If your child leaves his bike in the driveway it may get stolen and that’s the choice he chose.

14 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Motivators and Rewards Discussion Q: What motivates your child? Behavior that is rewarding continues, behavior that is unrewarding stops. You can use prizes, sticker charts, ticket system. Involve your child in choosing the reward. Prizes: simple, inexpensive, fun Sticker Charts: child has to get so many ‘stickers’ in order to receive the reward Tickets: child gets a reward after accumulating so many tickets.

15 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Examples of Rewards: “First child in bed picks the story to read!” “You took care of your trains, let’s go buy a new one!” “If you tasted your peas, you can get a sticker on your chart!”

16 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Reminders Children need reminders to keep their behavior on track Reminders are less likely to provoke a refusal then outright commands Reminders prompt the child to complete the behavior You give the clue and the child fills in the blanks Example: “Oh where does that plate belong?” (when putting dishes in the sink)

17 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Negotiating It does not compromise your authority, it strengthens it. Children are more likely to respect parents who are willing to listen to them. It’s a win-win situation Example: Child: “Why do I have to eat Cheerios for breakfast?” Parent: “Well, what do you want to eat?” Child: “Gummy Bears” Parent: “That is a not a healthy choice. Why don’t you choose between Cheerios and Oatmeal with fruit?” Child: “Ok… Oatmeal with strawberries.” Parent: “Perfect choice.” (Compromise Reached) *FYI: If your child starts acting disrespectful end the conversation/compromise.

18 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Withdrawing Privileges Child must connect the withdrawal with the behavior If your child rides his bike in the street, he loses the bike. If your child misses her carpool or bus, she walks to school.

19 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
No Nattering Persistent negative comments that nip away at a child’s self-worth. Makes kids nervous and produces more negative behavior. It’s better to pick out redeeming qualities and concentrate on the positive Examples: “I liked the way you moved over for your sister on the couch.”

20 9 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior
Holding a Family Meeting Good times to set house rules Meetings foster family communication You are relaxed and the children are receptive Ask for children’s input Examples: Get suggestions from the children about how to keep their rooms clean.

21 Words of Wisdom You can turn a great behavior shaping moment into a negative interaction by implying that your child is doing something that YOU want him or her to do. Avoid statements like, “See I told you so!” and “If you be nice to people like that all the time they will be nice to you!”

22 Summary Effective parenting that we discussed include:
Developing and clarifying clear expectations Staying calm when your child gets upset Follow through with positive and negative consequences Be consistent Being a positive role model Praising your child for his/her behavior

23 Conclusion Parenting is the most important job that you will ever have. It requires dedication, attention, love. It is very time consuming but in the end, it is the most rewarding job!

24 Bibliography "Behavior Therapy: The Specifics of Parent Training." N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct Cahill, Angela. "Shaping Behavior." The Doctor Mommy. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct Lopez, William. "Successful Parenting Skills That Shape Children's Behaviors." AllPsych (2004): n. pag. Web. 30 Oct <http://>. Morin, Amy. "Shaping Behavior One Step at a Time." Discipline. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct Peggy, Harrelson O. "Skip Menu." Guiding the Behavior of Young Children. Virginia Tech University, n.d. Web. 30 Oct Sears, William. "10 Techniques to Shape Children’s Behavior." Ask Dr Sears The Trusted Resource for Parents. N.p., 20 May Web. 30 Oct

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