Thursday, December 9, 2010

Parenting Techniques - Stop shouting!

Behavioural Techniques to change children's behaviour:

1. “Whisper Technique“- Mystify your child by whispering a request or command to them rather than shouting. We learn at an early age that anything that is being whispered MUST be something secretive worth listening to.

Therefore, your child is more apt to pay attention to a whisper rather than to shouting, AGAIN. We respond to behavioural conditioning. If we are given the same stimulus ie, shouting over and over, then we desensitise and eventually, extinguish any response to it.

This is why our children just continue going about their business unabated, even if we are shouting at them. Our shouting just becomes “background noise”.

Whispering, however, would be a novel stimulus and more likely to get their attention. It will also set a calmer atmosphere than the shouting stimulus and may lead to a more peaceful home environment.

2. “Chore Charts” – If many of the arguments in the home are about household chores and perceived inequalities in workload, it can really help to post a simple chore chart in a prominent area where everyone will see it every day.

Be sure to allocate tasks equally and don't forget to put down what the parents are responsible for, because the older children get, the more observant they are as to what the parents are doing to contribute to house work.

It's also important to rotate the less desirable jobs, so that no one “always gets stuck with the worst job” e.g. taking out thetrash or like cleaning out the litter box.

3. Token Economy System- If behavioural issues are a major problem for certain children, then you may create a weekly or monthly calendar or chart that shows how behaviours are progressing through the week.

Establish specific target behaviours with your child, which would include undesirable behaviours and also what behaviors might be rewarded.

Make a list of the behaviours that can gain positive points and the behaviours that would accrue negative points. Make certain the points are weighted appropriately.

Par example; taking the garbage out or cleaning a room might gain 1 or two points. Not putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket might be minus 1 but pinching a sibling might be minus 2 or minus 3. Punching a hole in the wall would be minus 5, etc.

Everyone must know what the “rules” are and all caregivers in the home must agree on the point system for it to be reinforced and to work well.

At the end of the week you tally up all the points and see what the results are. You then must have a reward system that all again agree upon, so as to appropriate rewards (bonuses such as a friend sleepover, movie, ice cream, allowance, or extra television or computer time, etc.) versus punishments (less TV or computer time, less allowance than usual, etc).

Good luck!

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