child's behavior is an iceberg
  • Important factors to consider when trying to change a child's behavior:

    1.  Set expectations with clear delineation of rules.  Be consistent and follow through with your "word" or plan.  Provide expectations verbally but also visually (e.g. pictures, graphic) for kids with special needs.

    2.  Start small and build from there and acknowledge that the child has met the smallest of expectations.  

    The best way to improve behavior is to give children a lot of attention when they are doing something you like and remove your attention when they are doing something you do not like.

    3.  Positive reinforcement: give and don't take away.    Sometimes reinforcement can just be describing the child's behavior and praising them when they make a real effort. For example, "I see you looking and listening to your sister" or "Good job getting your body calm."

    4.  Model the expected behavior.  Children learn by watching everyone around them, especially their parents. When you use manners and good coping strategies, you teach your children to do the same.  This can include behaviors such as sharing, expressing emotions, and calming down.

    5.  Give choices and options that they really can decide about.

    6.  Use a schedule or at the very least "first/then" board.

    7. Limit language and over explaining.