Do you feel like you are having a challenging time this school year with your child's behavior? The same conversation with his teacher...
"Ms. ______/ Mr. _______ I'm calling today to let you know that your child hit another child today".
"Ms. ______/ Mr. _______ I'm calling today to let you know that your child ran our of the classroom today."
Possibly you've gotten this one,
""Ms. ______/ Mr. _______ I'm calling today to let you know that your child was refusing to transition between activities and was not listening to directions today."
Now youre thinking, "I have talked to my child about how to behave in school." Nothing seems to work. I took away toys, trips, tried bribing with special dinners and TV time". Still no progress. What can I do to have my child 'buy-in" to listening and being a good learner in school.
5 - Strategies To Try Out To Effectively Have Your Child Be More Successful in School.
1. Continuity in Communication.
2. Communicate with Appropriate Methods for Your Child To Understand His Behavior
3. Behavior plan
4. Identify and recognize strengths and needs
5. Anticipate challenges and issues that can erupt.
First, creating a plan for consistent and constant contact with your child's teacher is important. This can be done through a communication log, a journal, a quick coloring, star chart, etc. However, this is most effective if your child is able to understand the expectation and is given feedback on their efforts in a timely manner. Maybe after every period, maybe once in the morning and once after school, maybe every 5 minutes. This interval depends on your child need for support.
Moreover, the conversation has to make effective change on your child. Thats the point, right? So your child needs to be a part of the conversation. Using ways to communicate with your child's teacher in a language that your child can also understand is paramount. Check out this incentive chart for a pre-schooler. Its written in a language that a young child can understand; pictures.
Then, identify behaviors you are looking to change. Brainstorm a few ideas for what you know about this behavior.
When does it happen?
What is usually happening first?
What is happening next?
Maybe there is a particular need with transitions. This can be challenging as change is hard to accept. Contrary, identify strengths that can be leveraged to support that need. For example, a need with transitions can be countered with the strength of a visual learner. Therefore, you can use pictures, symbols, or timer to set the expectation of how to behave during a transition and to let your child know to expect a transition coming. Its usually the abrupt change that sets children off so minimizing the urgency to transition can help.
Last, you know your child best. Anticipate what can go wrong, what will set them off and brace yourself for supporting him through this challenge. Assure him its OK and that he can do it. If your presence seems to be escalating the situation, walk away, avoid eye contact, and be distracted from his actions. Attention is deserved when the behavior is acceptable.
These strategies can be used on verbal and non-verbal children with a spectrum of needs and cognitive diagnosis, including ADHD, Autism, High Functioning Autism, ODD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and more. All of these options can be modified and tailored to meet the need of any parent or child. Send me an email if you have questions on how to make effective changes.