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Behavior Therapy and Management

Behavior Management Video Table of Contents4_behavior






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This is a common complaint about many of the children who come to see me. Anytime we have disruption in our lives from stress, depression, grief, change, ADHD, and so on, our ability to ignore distractions and remember becomes compromised.

    1. Remember you have the power to choose. You can pay attention to a student when he or she is not paying attention, or you can put your energy into them when they are. Waiting until they are off-task and then re-directing can become draining for both the student and the teacher. Build confidence and energize yourselves by emphasizing intervention that targets being on task and paying attention.

2. Make it fun and easy. Establish a credit system for on-task behavior. Before lunch and at the end                of the day, privately rate the student’s efforts on a chart. For example, poor=0 points, fair=5, good=10, great=15, awesome=20. Allow the student to exchange points for in-class privileges or easier yet let the parents create a menu of rewards the student can purchase with points at home.

Dating the point sheets will also create a log that provides data that can be useful to analyze later. This type of system will also circumvent the problems in attitude and self-esteem that can be created when privileges are lost or the child gets a sad face or an “X.” Finally, Problems with satiation are avoided by providing a menu of rewards so the student does not get tired of the same old thing. Distractible children like novelty. You can also carry tickets or class bucks with you that you can drop on the student’s desk for paying attention and staying on task at your convenience and without interrupting instruction.

If you vary the amount of points or bucks you drop off on them, and vary the schedule and interval to keep it random, you will keep the student responding because they never know when you might notice them doing good or how much the reward will be. Like a slot machine, using the same principles that keep people dropping quarters and pulling the lever as often as possible. How’s that for slick?

  1. Be very explicit and teach what you expect in terms of listening and staying on task. I like to teach “Whole body listening.” You can draw the body parts that follow on your chalkboard as you explain what is expected so you have a visual cue when you ask if the students are showing you whole body listening.

Take a picture of your student on-task and put it on his desk. You listen with your eyes by looking at the speaker. You listen with your lips by keeping them closed. You listen with your hands by keeping them still. You listen with your feet by pointing them at the speaker. Listen with your shoulders and chest by keeping them open and directed towards the speaker. Finally, you listen with your brain by thinking about what the speaker is saying. So you don’t just listen with your ears!

Solution Focus

One of the things people in my business need to help clients watch out for is becoming too problem-focused. Once you get started, it can be hard to stop! We solve one problem, then we hunt for more, and naturally, if we look hard enough, we can always find them.  I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to someone tell me “He can’t sit still,” or, “He doesn’t follow directions.” That’s when I glance at the kid and say “Wow, how’d you get him here?”

We can also always find successes and solutions.

Is the glass half empty or half full? When we are working with children who are not being as successful as we would like them to be, it becomes critical that we monitor ourselves so we aren’t too critical! These children need our faith, support, confidence, and messages assuring that they can, they are, and they will.

The same can be said for working with couples. You go in to the counselor to talk about problems, right? We have to be careful not to influence people to establish or maintain a negative and inaccurate or distorted viewpoint about a person, a behavior, or a relationship. We need hope and faith to create a positive space for the person or the relationship to grow into.

We want to be solution focused because this helps us notice when the problem does not occur. We begin to realize we in fact have the means to cope with difficulties in acceptable ways. We can also think about those good moments and try to figure out what we did that created our magical formula for success.

Whoops! My videos have moved to

There wasn’t enough space for all the videos, ebooks, forms, and templates created so we had to make a new website for this indispensable resource. The best part is how much you can learn for under 15 bucks.

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