Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
If an older (i.e. ages 6-12) child refuses to go to time out or leaves time out early, withhold a preferred activity or other reinforcer until the child completes the time out. For example, "You have no TV until you do your time out." If they continue to refuse, withdraw another preferred activity. Do not withdraw more than two activities. These activities must be withheld until the child does timeout or until the next day. Do not carry the consequence into the next day, as this is too far delayed to be effective.
When time out is over, you may say, "Time out is over." Do not counsel or discuss the behavior that results in time out. There is no evidence that discussing the infraction adds any positive effect to time out, and it may even reduce the effectiveness by providing attention at the end of the process.
If the child is still crying or shouting at the end of the time out period, set the timer for one more minute (or two additional minutes for a child over 6). Repeat this procedure, as needed, up to three times. Say only, "That's X more minutes for you to quiet down." and do not make eye contact. If the crying or shouting persists beyond this point, just ignore. (In no case should the child be allowed to leave time out without loss of a preferred activity unless they have been quiet for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Start by using time out for only one behavior and plan to use it consistently for at least four weeks. For children 4-12, describe the time out procedure with them before you try to implement it. Expect objections. Ignore them and do not negotiate. If you must speak say only. "We're going to do this." If objection persist, walk away. Do not engage in a debate.
The usefulness of a token economy system is that it allows for an immediate reward for a behavior while at the same time helping the child see that the reward can be even more significant in the future. It also gives the child more control because they can decide to cash in the tokens or save them up. One reason I really like this sort of system is that it allows for mistakes. No one is perfect and kids are going to have bad days. As a child is first working to change their behavior it can be frustrating when they have to get let's say stickers three out of five days, but their week starts out horribly and the mess up the first three days. They have no motivation to behave in the remaining days. A token economy allows for more flexibility and leaves room for bad days.
So here is how you do it:
- Set goals for your token economy. A token economy is a tool which strives to modify inappropriate behavior and achieve specific goals. These goals can be behavioral
- Take time to include the child in setting and defining goals
- Begin by targeting only one to three goals so that the child is not overwhelmed
- Set point or token values
- Give a token value to each goal. You may choose to make each goal of equal value or to weight values. In the latter case, values should be assigned with respect to the difficulty of the goal
- Determine time intervals for assessment. Intervals at which goal attainment will be judged and points will be awarded need to be determined before initiating the token economy. A good rule of thumb is, at the onset of the token economy, the interval should be half as long as the child is able to go without displaying the inappropriate behavior. Gradually, time intervals should be increased.
- It is important that tokens are awarded contingent upon achieving the pre-specified goals.
- Keep track of points or tokens earned. Keeping track of tokens earned can be done in many different ways. This allows the child to see and assess his or her progress.The child should always be able to find out how many tokens or points they have earned. Here are some suggestions:
1) Tokens: Give the student(s) the tokens they have earned or put them in a spot where they can deposit them.
2) Points: Using a point system is very valuable when targeting more than one behavior or goal. The child can see which goals they are reaching and in which areas they can still improve.
4) A chart can be posted in the house in which the child's points are tracked. In this way, a child can see his or her progress over time. Keeping formal records is very important. This will help prevent misunderstandings and disagreements about the rules.
- Decide on how the child can spend the tokens. A reward menu is typically the best way to do this. Assign each reward on the menu a point cost. Make sure you have a range of rewards.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The problem comes at bath time. She absolutely hates it. We try to make it fun for her and sing and move her legs to splash, but she just screams bloody murder. It's become a matter of let's do this as fast as possible to end the misery. On the nights we give her baths, which is about twice a week due to the fact she hates them so much, we do it right before bed. We started off using an infant tub and then my mom bought her a bath seat to see if that helped, but it didn't really.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
- For younger kids turn clean up time into a game of Beat the Clock.
- Ask them to be your helper.
- State things in the positive instead of the negative (i.e. " We can go to the park as soon as you clean up your toys" instead of "You won't get to go to the park today if you don't clean up this mess")
- Play calming music in the background while kids are taking a bath or getting ready for bed. This will relax them without them even realizing it.
- Ask them three questions in a row that makes them say "yes". This will break their resistant pattern, plus make them feel heard and understood.
- Offer choices (i.e. Do you want to wear your pink pajamas or you yellow ones)
- Give them small portions of everything you want them to eat and then don't say a word about the food. Don't even give them the opportunity to fight with you.
- Give them dessert no matter what, but make it small (i.e. a single Hersey's kiss). No more bargaining to get him to eat and since the dessert is small you won't feel like you are giving in and it won't fill them up. So even if they eat dessert first, they will still be hungry and go back to the main entree.
- Have one, unchanging food alternative your child can make himself if he doesn't want what you are serving. Make it easy, nutritious, and something always on hand (i.e. PB&J). Most children will grow tired of making their own meal after a few times and will eat what you cook.
- If they refuse to eat anything, say "No problem. You can have a big breakfast in the morning".
- Stay calm and have no emotional reaction.
- Clean out the closet and put away clothes that are out of season. Rotate items in the closet to allow for fewer choices, and get rid of things you feel are inappropriate (i.e. stained clothes, skirt you don't want her wearing)
- Pick out a few different outfits the night before and then let the child pick which one they want to wear.
- Let them learn it the hard way. If they don't want to wear a coat, don't fight it and let them face the consequences (within reason of course). If that seems to harsh, have them put whatever it is (jacket, long pants) in their bag to take with them.