Behavior Modification- Visualize

Positive parenting skills utilize the reward for acceptable behavior instead of the "I'll getcha!" game of catching your child doing wrong. To give the positive parenting double power, make a visual aid! As a clinician's secret, this visual aid helps the parents more than the child. It reminds everyone to do their part (the child of the behavior expectation and the parent of their role as constant cheer leader).

It has been my experience that behavior charts work wonderfully with 5 yr olds. A simple chart consists of the days of the week and an identified single behavior (hitting, kicking, biting). Each day that passes without the specific behavior gets a smiley face drawn on the day. A prize is identified for the end of the week, as simple as picking a prize from an assortment of trinkets.

Engage the child in the creation of the chart. If they are able, or mostly able, let them create the whole thing! Ideas: the child's name, a title with a positive slant. (Ex: Tommy's Talking Nice Chart, Blake's Hands to Himself Chart), symbols or pictures of coping skills for the border of the chart. This can be started with the question:

Instead of ___(screaming, spitting, yelling)______, what can you do? 
What are some things you like to do?

Remind the parents to focus on ONE behavior. And join with them to identify a reasonable goal for the week based on the child's current functioning and taking baby steps toward manageable behavior. Have fun!