It seems most parenting techniques focus on toddlers and the early years. Yet adolescence is one of the most challenging periods. Both parents and children are struggling with changes, independence issues and of course behavior concerns. Child behavior modification techniques can be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What is Adolescent Behavior Modification?
Behavior modification or behavior modification therapy is a technique originally theorized in the early 1900’s by behavioral psychologists. Since that time doctors, psychologists and practitioners have fine tuned the concept into a system that works for any child regardless of the age or the concern.
It’s a particularly fantastic system for parents of adolescents. This is a time when you want to begin teaching your child personal responsibility. There’s nothing better than a predetermined system of consequences and rewards to establish positive behaviors.
How Does Behavior Modification Work for Adolescents?
Child behavior modification works by establishing a desired behavior. For adolescents an example might be to have them speak more respectfully to their parents and other authority figures. You want to stop the backtalk that’s so common during this age.
So you want to eliminate backtalk and replace it with respectful speech. As a parent creating behavior modification plan you would then create a system of predetermined rewards and consequences.
For example, when they speak respectfully they might receive a poker chip. When they talk back, they might lose a poker chip. You could collect the chips in a clear jar so they can see their progress. When they’ve received ten poker chips, you might reward them with something more substantial like an iTunes gift card or an hour on the computer – whatever would be most motivating to your child.
The rewards and consequences as well as the system for keeping track of good and bad behavior needs to be established and communicated before you begin the adolescent training program. This way, everything is clearly laid out. Your child knows what to expect from the system and you’ve communicated the behavior you desire.
You don’t have to use poker chips and a jar; you can use adolescent behavior charts, stickers, or some other tracking system. The important thing to remember is that the tracking system needs to be consistent and viewable by everyone involved. That’s why jars and charts work so well. They can be displayed in the home.
Getting Started with Your Adolescent Behavior Management Program
It’s important that you identify a behavior you want to change and to know what you want to change it to. It’s also important, before you sit down to speak with your child, that you create a tracking system and a plan for rewards and consequences.
Once your behavior plan is established, then you can sit down and have a conversation with your adolescent or teen. This is often the tough part. The Total Transformation Program offers steps to help you create your plan. It also offers scripts so you can have a constructive conversation with your child about the plan. Adolescence is a part of growing up but bad behavior doesn’t have to be.
If you’re struggling with any behavior issues or just have concerns, check out behavior modification plans for your adolescent or teen.