Consistency is the Key

Hi! Welcome to my wikispace! I will be providing information about behavior, development, resources and other topics of interest.
My first topic has to do with changing a behavior. As my title suggests, consistency is the key. Parents or guardians need a consistent response that is clear BEFORE the behavior. Children should know the consequence for a misstep- and the adults need to follow through with the consequence. If you give second, third or even fourth chances, you've only reinforced the negative behavior. Children will try and outlast you by whining, crying or having a tantrum. If you give in after these episodes, you've taught them that those bad behaviors will get them what they want.
There is a tried and true method that has worked for many parents. If you have a behavior you want to extinguish, tell the child clearly and simply what your expectation is (i.e. no lying). Cut three squares of colored paper and clip them to the refrigerator. Tell your child that each time that behavior occurs, they lose one square. If all three are gone during the day, they go to their room with NO electronic devices. They may eat dinner of course and do homework but no other "entertainment". There is no long discussion or explanation. A simple "You lied. Now you lose one square." If this is applied consistently, the behavior should be gone in a couple of weeks (taken from John Rosemond).
If you give in and let them have privileges back early, they will learn that they can have their way even if they misbehave.

Children want and need consistency. Unpredictable responses from parents can cause anxiety and fear in children which can increase their acting out behaviors.

Happy Parenting!

Amy Frederick, MSW
School Social Worker
Ben Franklin Elementary