Week 5: 8 Weeks To A Well-behaved Child

Well, we’re almost to the end of our 8 Weeks To A well-Behaved Child program. This is week 5 and we’ll learn how to discourage misbehaviors by withdrawing attention. But first a review of last week.

In week 4, we learned how to use reminder praise and increase compliance with expectations. Our assignment for the week was to use the five-step method of increasing compliance at least five times this week and to also describe any instances when we used any of the previous weeks’ methods during this week.

The one thing I can vouch for is that small kids definitely love to receive praise for their efforts. And when we are specific in our praise it increases the desired behavior even more. The key is consistency. Most of the week I did well but unfortunately toward the end of the week I developed a nasty sore throat and post nasal drip. So talking was difficult at times. But I still made the effort to offer praise to Tyler because, as the author points out, in order for the method to work you have to follow it as outlined. This might be difficult at times when you have so many other things going on in your life.

Now on to week five. Here are some important things to remember about ignoring misbehavior, which is basically our goal for this week:

(1) Some parents are “active interveners”, they believe that unwanted behaviors and troublesome actions cannot be ignored and they have to do something or they will reinforce the undesired behavior. This belief is false.

(2) When you ignore behavior you don’t respond in anyway. This means you do not, “flinch, grimace, smile, tense your facial muscles, mumble under your breath, slam cupboard doors, or walk out of a room quickly.” Instead, as soon as the behavior starts you switch off any overt response to it. Once the behavior ends you resume normal interactions.

(3) Any response to behaviors like whining, crying, or uncooperativeness with scolding, nagging or complaints will only result in these behaviors getting stronger not weaker.

(4) Only through the use of systematic, consistent ignoring of undesired behavior will these behaviors weaken and then ultimately disappear.

(5) When certain behavior are ignored they will get worse at first but then disappear.

(6) The rule of thumb is that any attention-seeking behaviors should be ignored.

(7) Pay attention to only desirable, appropriate behaviors and those that are potentially dangerous.

(8) If your child’s behavior is particularly annoying consider using some form of relaxation or calm-inducing coping strategies to help you not respond to the misbehavior.

And now for this week’s assignment, you guessed it, work toward ignoring undesirable behavior. Select one troublesome behavior that is either attention-seeking, minor, irritating, annoying or obnoxious and work on ignoring each instance of the behavior. Record the number of times you ignored the behavior each day.

Next week: Effective Punishment to Discourage Problem Behaviors

See also:

8 Weeks To a Well-behaved Child- Week Four

8 Weeks To a Well Behaved Child: Week Three

8 Weeks To a Well Behaved Child: Week Two, Part Two

8 Weeks To a Well Behaved Child: Week Two

8 Weeks To a Well Behaved Child: Week One

8 Weeks To a Well Behaved Child