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.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
You will get better results over time using positive reinforcement than you will get using punishment, and your child will also have better self-esteem. For this reason, whenever implementing a behavioral plan I try to get parents to start by only using positive reinforcement and then if they aren't satisfied with that, we will move to punishment. Most of the time we don't get there because reinforcement works.
The simplest way to provide positive reinforcement is through praise. Here is a link to 101 Ways to Praise Kids
Other types of positive reinforcement include behavioral charts, marble jars (will discuss in a future post), and allowances.
There are certain behaviors where you obviously want to apply an immediate consequence or punishment (i.e. physical aggression).
Work yesterday was crazy and hectic, then I had last minute tax stuff to get out, came home with a major migraine, and by the time I got Zoey down for the night I was just too tired to do anything other than go to bed.
I'm going to take some of the coping skills I discussed in the post about frustration and put them to good use. Then hopefully I can get my "P" post done tonight.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Well, we've got the bags packed, made it through security, and are on the plane. This is where my anxiety starts to kick in. How is Zoey going to do with the pressure change and the boredom that is bound to come on a long flight? What if she starts crying? What will the other passengers think?
Let's be realistic. She's going to cry. Hopefully it's not for the whole trip, but at some point she will cry. I mean sometimes I want to cry when flying. LOL! So the real question is, how can I make this experience more pleasant for everyone involved?
Here are some tips that I have found:
* One of the main sources of discomfort for infants traveling on airplanes is the change in cabin pressure when taking off and landing. Prepare for this by planning to nurse or give a bottle or pacifier to the child during take-offs and landing to help alleviate the pressure
*If your baby is awake and fussy, use a baby sling to walk up and down the aisle to give the baby a change of scenery
*Bring along an age-appropriate new rattle, book, toy, or stuffed animal to keep the baby amused, and don’t forget cool teething rings for babies needing something to chew
*It is perfectly alright to breast feed on the plane. You might want to bring along a small pillow for extra support. You can improvise and use few rolled up airplane blankets or baby blankets from home, and use an extra blanket for privacy. Book a window seat if you would like maximum privacy
*If you are using bottles, it is easiest to use the pre-measured, individual servings of formula. If using powdered formula, measure it out beforehand in individual baggies or in a container with compartments made just for this purpose. Bring along a small, soft-sided cooler for anything that is frozen or must be kept cool
*You can thaw out frozen breast milk in hot water using an airsickness bag. Just make sure it is one that is lined in plastic and won't leak. You can also use a collapsible bowl if you have one (can be found at pet stores)
*Many airplanes have fold-down changing tables in the restrooms. Ask the flight attendant which ones have the changing tables so you can plan accordingly. Be sure to bring along enough plastic bags to dispose of the diaper. If the baby is small enough, you may be able to change him or her in the seat, but as a courtesy to those around you, take the dirty diapers to the restroom for changing
*If you are worried about your baby crying during the flight and disrupting other passengers, ask to sit at the back of the plane, where the engine noise is louder, so the baby noise will only be heard by those in your immediate vicinity
*Remember that babies cry, that's what they do, so forgive yourself if yours cries during the flight. It will be okay
Monday, April 11, 2011
So you've got your bags all packed and now it's time to go to the airport and navigate security. Scary, I know. Here are some tips to hopefully make things a little bit easier.
*When you get to the gate, gate-check your stroller by getting a tag for it and leaving it at the end of the jet-way, just before you board the plane. You pick it up when you get off the plane at the same spot. Make sure you fold it when you leave it to make sure it isn't damaged by luggage handlers who may not know how to appropriately fold it. Airlines consider this a fragile item, so they will not pay if it is broken.
Friday, April 8, 2011
* An extra set or two of clothes for baby, and an extra shirt or sweater for you. This is obviously for that blow out diaper that will occur at the worst possible time, as well as spit-up.
* Diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment. Pack more diapers and wipes than you think you will need—anticipate delays. Babycenter recommends one diaper for each hour you will be in transit.
*Disposable changing pads – Huggies makes a disposable changing pad that can be used once and thrown away. If you don’t care for these, like me, make sure your changing pad is removable and not attached to your diaper bag. Airplane restrooms are tiny, so you will need to take the pad out and make it fit the space.
*Plastic bags to dispose of the mess. It could be helpful to pack each diaper in its own plastic bag so you are certain you don’t run out.
* Whatever your baby eats. TSA regulations permit baby formula, breast milk, and baby food in carry-on luggage, so long as you are traveling with your child. You will not be asked to test or taste these, but you may be asked to open the containers. You have to declare these items once you get to security. Don't forget small plastic dished, spoons, and disposable or vinyl bibs if your baby easts solids.
* Small bottles of hand sanitizer, baby wash, and baby lotion
* Favorite toys, blankets, teddy bear, or pacifier or other soothing tool. Bring extra pacifiers in case they get dropped and lost, plus pacifier wipes to sanitize any dropped pacis.
* A new toy to distract the child.
* If your baby is teething, bring some teething rings and biscuits for them to chew on. Gel filled teethers are allowed in your carry-on.
* Medications needed for you and/or your child, prescriptions, and your pediatrician's phone number.
* Bottled water and a snack for you. Snacks shouldn't be an issue, but water will have to be purchased once you are through security. Most domestic flights no longer have meal service (except in First Class), so be prepared.
* Sling or front carrier to help you get safely through crowded areas (i.e. airport). You might even consider this in lieu of a stroller.
* Birth certificate or vaccination records as baby's proof of identity.
* Baby Clothes—you can organize your baby’s clothes using resealable plastic bags, so you don’t have to rummage through the entire suitcase to find a matching sock. Pack an outfit or two for each day (including sleepwear) in a gallon-size bag. Use the clean empty bags for soiled clothes later on.
* Extra diapers & wipes—you might assume that you can find these items at your destination, but that is not always the case. If it is not an area you are familiar with, you may have trouble locating the brand you normally use. If you are using cloth diapers, be sure to pack detergent so that you can soak them as soon as you arrive and do laundry when needed.
* If you are visiting family, you can ask them to help you find the nearest store that carries your brands of diapers, formula, etc. You can also order large items, such as formula, to be shipped to your destination, if you are planning a longer trip.
* Clothes for You: Take a few extra tops for spit-up, spills, and other disasters mentioned above.
* Portable crib or playpen for your child to sleep in. This will incur an extra fee, so if you are traveling to visit family or friends, see if someone has one you can borrow. You might also consider buying a used one once you get to your destination form somewhere like Once Upon a Child. This could actually be cheaper than paying a checked luggage fee each way.
* Inflatable bathtub to make bath time easier at your destination.
* Car seat and stroller. If you are checking your car seat, I recommend buying a travel bag for it to protect it from rough handling. Most airlines allow you to check your car seat at no additional cost. The same thing goes for your stroller
* Extra medication, sunscreen, diaper rash lotion, and other toiletries. You may not be able to find your favorite brand at your destination, so pack a few extras, just in case. Put these in clear plastic bags in your luggage so they can be seen by safety inspectors when they open your bag. Plastic bags also protect against spillage.
Can you guys think of anything I have missed?
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Today let's acknowledge the frustration that sometimes comes with being a parent. Sometimes there are just times when you want to rip your hair out. All of that is very, very normal. It's also a common feeling that if not dealt with can lead to all kinds of problems in all the different areas of you life.
What do you guys due to relax and take some time for yourself?
This picture actually has nothing to do with an Extinction burst, but I found it when I was doing a Google image search and thought it was pretty funny. Here is the original source
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Today I'm going to talk about creativity in terms of the role it plays in a successful behavioral chart. We've all seen the cookie cutter behavioral/chore charts that are out there, and don't get me wrong, they have their place and can be effective. However, when dealing with a child who just doesn't seem to keen on the idea of a behavioral chart in the first place, a cookie cutter chart isn't going to cut it.
To increase your odds of success, you should come up with a creative way to incorporate something your child is really into. Some examples of this can be seen in my last post of behavioral charts. In addition to the soccer chart shown, I've created charts for football and baseball. The stuffed animal chart was an idea for a child who really loved their stuffed animals. I even did one for a child who was really into balloons. The chance to be creative, and the challenge of developing an idea for some of the more unique interests, is really what I love about creating behavioral charts. No matter the interest, if you put on your creativity hat, you can come up with something.
The goal is to tie in the child's interest in order to get them more excited about the idea of the behavioral chart. It's even more successful if you can get your child involved with making their chart. So bust out the poster board and markers and let's get creative.