Here’s a simple and effective intervention for teaching good behavior submitted by reader Jennifer Fronek. Ms. Robinson earned a gift certificate to childtherapytoys.com for her submission. Learn how you can do the same!
Purpose: Assist parents/caregivers in providing frequent, positive feedback to their children, in order to produce desired behaviors. This system can be used with multiple children, in a variety of settings. This system is very easy for parents to use & encourages children to follow rules while feeling proud of themselves. It is a visual tool and therefore, it easy to track points and monitor success.
Age: Approximately 5-12
Materials: Dry Erase Markers, Index Cards, laminate, or clear plastic tape can be used to cover the cards (if laminate is not available, use stickers)
Intervention: In advance, laminate several note cards. Ask the caregiver to select an outing or activity and then help them identify desirable behaviors for that outing and review them with the child. Do not attempt more than 3 behaviors on a single outing. Write the child’s name at the top of a card. If there is more than one child prepare a separate card for each child. Ask the child or caregiver to write the 1-3 behaviors or rules on the back of the card. Identify a reward or reward activity if a reasonable number of stickers/checks are earned. Try to set the number low at first so success can be experienced. The number of desired checks or stickers required to earn a reward can be increased as the child improves their cooperation skills. At regular intervals, of not more than 5 minutes place a sticker or checkmark under the child’s name if they have accomplished the behaviors indicated, or followed the rules. The caregiver should deliver the reward or reward activity as close to the successful outing as is reasonably possible.
Example: James and his brother have trouble cooperating in the supermarket. The three behaviors his caregiver would like them to follow are: 1) Keep hands & feet to self, 2)Use Indoor Voice, and 3)Use walking feet. The caregiver attaches a sticker to each card near the end of each aisle, if the behaviors are achieved. The caregiver and counselor agreed that each child would earn their reward if they obtained five stickers. James and his brother found this quite easy to do and at the next outing, the number of stickers needed was raised to six.