Sunday, October 15, 2017

Six Forms of Punishment Part 3

The last two of the six forms of punishment are verbal reprimands and time out. Verbal reprimands are more effective when they're immediate, brief and and accompanied by eye contact.  For example,  if a child hits a parent it's best for the parent to look the child in the eye, say, "No hitting mom, ouch!" and do it it immediately after the child hits them. Verbal reprimands are more effective when spoken quietly and close to the child not bringing attention to the child which can cause shame and guilt. For example, if a child and parent are in a store and a child says a curse word, it's best if the parent whispers in the child's ear, "We don't say that word. It's ugly," than if the parent brings attention to it by saying something out loud and reprimanding them publicly.

Verbal reprimands should provide encouraging statements indicating the parent knows the child can participate in appropriate behavior. For example, if a child is getting impatient  standing in line waiting to check out at a store a parent can say, "I know it's taking a long time to check out. We have two people in front of us and then it's our turn. I know you can wait until it's our turn." Then the parent can do something to distract them such as quietly sing a song or play a game such as finding letters on the cover of a magazine. It's also helpful for parents to carry toys with them that the child can play with when a situation like this occurs.

Time out is considered a punishment because the child is removed from a pleasurable and enjoyable activity due to their inappropriate behavior. Time out is different from time away in that time out is a general punishment for any kind of behavior problem, whereas as time away is removal of the child when the child's behavior results in the disruption of an activity. For example,  time out occurs when a child keeps interrupting parents while they're trying to talk. Time away happens when a child keeps grabbing all of the crayons and doesn't share with their siblings. With time away, the focus is on the child understanding the relationship between their behavior and the effect the disruption had on the activity. The focus is on putting the child in an environment that encourages and motivates a child to behave appropriately. In time out the child is removed to another room, corner etc. and screened off. A time out environment shouldn't be reinforcing such as a corridor, dark closet etc. Time out is short (minute per age). The key to time out is that when a child comes out of the environment is dependent on the child demonstrating appropriate behavior. Time out has been shown to be effective in reducing a variety of disruptive and inappropriate behavior. Time out doesn't give undue attention(reward) to the child.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Six Forms of Punishment Part 2

The next two forms of punishment we'll talk about are unrelated consequences and response cost. An unrelated consequence is the punishment of a child's inappropriate behavior with something that's totally unrelated to the behavior. For example, if a child doesn't take their shoes off as soon a they walk in the door, they have to do the dishes by themselves. The consequence isn't logically related to the behavior which makes the approach ineffective. It can also misfire because it may not bother the child that they have to do the dishes by themselves.

The form of punishment called response cost involves taking away something the child previously earned. The response cost approach is most effective when used with positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior and when a child doesn't lose everything they earned by a small offense. When a child loses everything they earned they come to not bother to earn anything. For example, if a child gets a star on their chore chart every time they do their chores, but a parent decides to not give them the star even though they did the chores they were responsible for doing and the parent takes the star away because the child forgot to put their dirty clothes away after taking their bath this is a response cost punishment.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Six Forms of Punishment

There are six forms of punishment. Today I'm going to only discuss two and then I'll discuss the others in the next two posts. The first two forms of punishment are natural consequences and logical consequences.

Natural consequences are a form of punishment that makes sense to children and teaches them that certain behaviors have consequences and sometimes they can be unpleasant. Natural consequences become part of a child's behavior without direct participation by an adult. For example, if a child bites another child and that child bites them in return this is a natural consequence that has happened without the adult giving the consequence. Natural consequences teach children the cause and effect of behaviors. Natural consequences don't work when a child is too young to make the connection between cause and effect. They also don't work when adults are overly protective and don't allow children to suffer the consequences of their actions or inaction. For example, if a parent is constantly fighting a child's battles for them, and controlling every part of the child's life, the child doesn't suffer the consequences of their actions.

Logical consequences are also a form of punishment that makes sense to children and teaches them behaviors have consequences, and that they can be  unpleasant. Logical consequences happen when a child needs to correct a situation or repair damage caused by their behavior. Logical consequences only work when children are able to make the connection between their behavior, the consequences of their behavior and what they're asked to do. A logical consequence should happen immediately after the offense takes place. For example, if a child gets caught cheating on a test, the parent's need to give the consequence the night they found out the child cheated, not wait until the following week. Where logical consequences require a child to fix a problem they're rarely something the child would choose to do and are often viewed by the child as a punishment. Logical consequences help children learn that if they want to participate in an activity or do what other children are doing, they need to participate in appropriate behavior.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Using Behaviorism With Discipline Part 2

Last week we spoke about rewards which is the first category of behaviorism. Today we're going to discuss punishment which is the second category of behaviorism.

Punishment is a behavioral approach that attempts to reduce a child's inappropriate behavior. There are two kinds of punishment: presentation punishment which involves the introduction of an unpleasant consequence such as a failing grade after not studying and two, removal punishment which is taking away something that's pleasant. For example, when a child is late coming home and misses curfew and the child gets grounded for it. Both kinds of punishment reduce the target behavior. Punishment doesn't directly help a child gain emotional regulation or internalize accepted behaviors but it does help children know which behaviors are acceptable and which ones are unacceptable, but only if parents are consistent.

In some situations punishment can lead to an increase in the behavior that's being punished. For example, if a child is punished for stuttering it will only increase the stuttering, not stop it. Punishment can enhance behavior in two ways. First, if punishment is the only attention the child gets from a parent the child will continue to engage in the behavior for the attention. The second way punishment  can increase behaviors is in a setting where there is no one to control it. Further, children are at times unaware of the specific behavior being punished and they believe they're being punished for being bad. This develops low self-esteem particularly with children who have an all or nothing view of personal criticism.

Punishment can be tricky and a concept that parents have a hard time implementing because each situation is different and the level of punishment needed varies according to what the child may have done 'wrong' or in what way the child acted inappropriately. Next week we'll discuss six forms of punishment which will help parents know what time of punishment to use for what type of behavior (or inappropriate behavior).

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Using Behaviorism With Discipline

Diane Papalia who has a bachelors in psychology, child development, and a PH.D in family relations, Sally Olds who has a bachelors in psychology and Ruth Feldman who has a bachelors in gifted children defined behaviorism as a learning theory that emphasizes the predictable role of the environment in causing observable behavior.

Behaviorism can be divided into two categories. These categories can help parents when it comes to disciplining their children. The first one is rewards which are known as positive and negative reinforcement and second punishment. In this post we'll discuss positive and negative reinforcement and next week we'll discuss punishment.

Rewards or positive reinforcement is the reaction of a child's behavior that increases the probability of it reoccurring. Positive reinforcement can be divided into primary reinforces or secondary reinforces. Primary reinforces satisfy a build in need or desire such as food, water, air etc and are essential to a person's well-being. These should never be taken away when a child has inappropriate or bad behavior because these are basic needs. Primary reinforcers such as physical affection, a smile, and cuddling all satisfy a built in need or desire. These reinforcers can be used when a parent has lost their temper with a child or a child has done something they know has upset the parent and the parent knows they fell bad such as a child broke a dish.

Secondary reinforcers are neutral incentives that through repeated identification with another reinforcer have become a reinforcer. For example, when a child gets good grades in school the repeated identification of a good grade becomes a reinforcer and is a neutral incentive because there is no reward for getting good grades. A neutral incentive is an incentive a person doesn't respond to in any noticeable way such as the ringing bell in a classroom to start class causes no response from children. Examples of secondary reinforcers are praise, tokens, money and the feeling of success. These kinds of reinforcers can be used to potty train a child, teach siblings to be kind to one another etc. Parents should be careful with these kinds of reinforcers so that children don't come to expect a reward for behaving appropriately.

Positive reinforcers are rewards that increase a person's behavior such as a smile or the feeling of satisfaction when a person accomplishes a hard task. Positive reinforcers are classifed in two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic reinforcers are rewards provided by the outside environment and are material reinforcers such as food, toys etc. Where this type of reinforcer is effective in changing behavior it can be counterproductive as it focuses the child's learning on achieving the reward not the involvement and methods required to learn whatever lesson the child may need to learn. Intrinsic reinforcements are internal good feelings that come from within. For example, if a child does a chore for a sibling and the parent notices and says, "thank you," this will cause a child to feel good inside. This type of reinforcer goes a long way when dealing with children because it helps children feel appreciated and builds their self-esteem.

Social reinforcers are gestures or signs such as smile and attention that a person gives another person. A parent's attention and approval are powerful and effective reinforcers. Activity reinforcers are opportunities to engage in a favorite activity after completing a less favorable one. Positive feedback works when it communicates to the child that they're doing well or making progress and is paticularly effective when it gives children guidance about what they've learned and how to improve behavior. For example, a parent can say, " I appreciate that you asked for a snack. Next time can use the word please too?" Token economies are programs where children who have behaved appropriately receive a token that can be traded for objects or privileges of a child's choice. For example, if a parent is using a chore chart and a child gets a star every day for doing the chores they were responsible for, the child can go to the dollar store and pick something out.

Negative reinforcement increases a response through the removal of a stimulus-usually an unpleasant one. Negative reinforcement occurs when something negative is taken away to improve a behavior. For example, when a parent says a child can't eat until the child puts their toys away. Negative reinforcement occurs when an individual learns to perform a specific behavior in order to cause something unpleasant to stop.

All of these reinforcers can be used to help teach children correct behavior and to discipline when children are acting inappropriately. Which one is used will depend on the child and the situation that is causing the child to misbehave and the parent to teach appropriate behavior. Remember the best way to teach children to behave appropriately and will cause reasons to discipline children be less to be a good example and behave the ways you want your children to behave.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Goals of Discipline

The  key force in providing discipline for children is to approach the conflicts between what a child wants and desires to do and the way society expects children to behave.  Discipline can be defined as attempts by adults to guide children into learning and internalizing socially appropriate rules and behaviors.
The desire in using discipline is to help children progress from impulsive, immature behavior to self-control. The goal of discipline is to empower children to develop self-regulation in order to be in control and direct their own behavior in a pro-social manner. Another goal of discipline is to help children internalize important rules and society expectations. For example, not throwing tantrums in public or not causing bodily harm to others.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Managing a Home

I'm back! All moved in but boxes are still everywhere! Getting organized will be a slow process of emptying boxes for a while.

Most people when they think of management they think of a business and the people who run the business. However, management is part of a home as well. Parents are the 'managers' of a home. They are the ones who 'run' the home.

Management can be considered an umbrella for creating an environment that encourages positive interactions with children and parents. An effective parent has an overall view of the environment (the home). A parent has a view of the physical, temperature of the emotional, and  knows how the home works to provide cognitive skills. The parents take measures of the home to guarantee it supports every child.

Management of a home includes applying best practices to make sure children understand what behavior is expected of them. Whether children are infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or school aged, the physical social and emotional environment of the home is a major influence on behavior. Effective parents are alert to making all conditions of the home positive and supportive of their children's development. If the physical layout is cluttered, parents can expect children to respond with chaos. If parents interact with their children socially in a disrespectful or angry way parents can expect children will become disrespectful and angry toward them. If parents respond to misbehavior with high tempers and irritation, future interactions will suffer and children will respond in a similar way. Interactions between parent and child will suffer because children will eventually shut down around the parent who always shows these behaviors toward them and it may cause the parent and child to not have a healthy relationship or not have a relationship at all.

Children's behavior is challenging and it takes a lot of effort to teach children how to behave appropriately. However, if parents see their children as good investments and put effort into teaching their children how to behave appropriately it will be worth it. Particularly when the enter the world and practice what they've been taught and show the world they know what appropriate behavior is and how to do it.