Check out this short video and this bSci21 article about prompt fading for parents. Build up that independence in your kiddos!
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Parents have a LOT on their plates. Why would I want to add one more thing- learning about behavior analysis? I hope it can make their lives easier, more consistent, and give them more confidence. Check it out!
Some research suggests that students with involved, supportive parents have a higher degree of academic success than students whose parents are involved less. However, other investigations find a negative correlation: parent involvement can hinder the child's success. The key, I believe, is the type of support that the parent offers. For this reason, I have put together this post discussing the positive, helpful, favorable kinds of attention that a parent can offer a child.
Provide Blocks Of Time For Focused Work
Help your child tackle homework assignments by creating a calm home environment. This might mean turning off the television, saying no to a visit from a relative, or cutting back on family activities when large assignments are due. Your child might not want to ask you to change the family schedule. They may not even be aware that a change is necessary. As the adult in the situation, you can see the big picture for your child. Help them find the time to complete assignments. Your child might be tempted to squeeze work in between other events, like during car rides or on commercial breaks. Discourage interruption-filled study sessions. Instead, give your student the time and the space that they need to have focused study sessions.
When you ask your child questions about class, you encourage them to process what they learned. Middle and high school students often take notes in class, but never fully process the information (http://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/psn/2013/09/learning-secrets.aspx). Processing is key to information retention. Ask questions that encourage your student to summarize information and then think critically about it.
Help Your Child Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprived children may have trouble focusing in class. Prioritize your child's mental state (http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory). If you have to make travel plans, arrange them so that you arrive home at a decent hour so that your student can unwind and then get eight to ten hours of sleep. Sometimes it can seem hard to prioritize sleep, especially if something urgent like a family emergency or work situation arises. Think creatively. Is there another capable adult who might be able to stay with your child while you tend to the urgent, late-night situation? The less late-nights you allow, the more rested and alert your child will be.
Give Positive Feedback
When your child works hard and receives a good grade or score, show your excitement. You can give them a compliment, display affection, or offer a reward such as an activity or special treat. The specific type of reward that you offer does not matter as much as the fact that you are giving a reward for good behavior.
Share Personal Challenges
Don't be afraid to share a failure in your own life with a child who is struggling. If you failed algebra twice, but then passed the third time, share your story! How did you manage to pass? What did you learn from the experience? Something in your story might inspire your child to overcome a challenge in school that they are facing. We all have strengths and weaknesses. It is just as important to know how to nurture our strengths as it is to know how to overcome the weaknesses.
By asking the right questions, sharing stories from your past, and giving positive feedback, you can support your child's learning.
Academics will challenge some aspect of your child's skill set. Help them overcome the challenge with flying colors. Parent involvement is a key factor in a child's academic success. The type of involvement that you offer is going to affect your child's studies. By asking the right questions, sharing stories from your past, and giving positive feedback, you can support your child's learning. Other aspects of your involvement, like setting up a calm home environment and encouraging sleep, will benefit your student as well.
Scott Groza is the co-founder of the Groza Learning Center, along with his wife, Christy. An educator for many years, Groza is passionate about helping students thrive through unique learning plans and customized tutoring and test prep programs. He began working through the Groza Learning Center in 2002.
This article by Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA was originally published at bSci21.org.
Dear Behavior BFF, I’ve followed your column for some time and it sounds like the parents have to put in a lot of work up front to use ABA with their own children. So what’s in it for me? Why should I try so hard? Can I expect my kids to behave perfectly all the time?
In life, there are no guarantees. I wish I could make you some promises and 100% guarantees. I cannot. Every child is different. Every person is different. What I CAN give you is this: the only strategies you will find here or with a designation of behavior analysis are those that have been proven time and time again.
If you search for parenting books or resources online, you will find approximately one gazillion. So why turn to behavior analysis parenting help instead of all these others? Because behavior analysis isn’t just tips for parenting. Behavior analysis is the science of behavior.
Behavior analysis is a study of behavior and the ‘tips’ are actually research-based interventions that have been done repeatedly over several decades with any number of different populations. Nothing that I write for you here is my own idea. I wish I had amazing original ideas to help improve behavior! I don’t. What I do have is access to a research base of behavior analytic strategies. I choose to find practical ways to share those strategies with parents.
So what’s the point in going to all the effort to learn about behavior analysis and implement these proven strategies in your own family? If your kids won’t suddenly act ‘perfectly’ all the time, is it worth the time and effort?
Here are some key benefits to using behavior analytic tools as a parent:
Using the principles of ABA as a parent will not give you a picture perfect family of children who never misbehave. It will give you the consistency and support to increase the positives in your home! So what have you got to lose?
Don’t take my word for it. Learn more about the history of ABA and its effectiveness. Below is just a drop in the bucket of all the research out there, but an easy starting place.
Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. (2017). Identifying Applied Behavior Analysis interventions. San Diego, California: APBA.
Cooper, J., Heron, T., & Heward, W. (2007). Basic concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd ed., pp. 40-41). Columbus: Pearson.
Dunne, J. D. (2010). Behavior Analysis: No defense required. Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 6, 1-13.
Skinner, B. F. (1978). About behaviorism. New York: Vintage.
Sulzer-Azaroff, B., & Mayer, G. R. (1991). Behavior analysis for lasting change. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Walsh, M. B. (2011). The top 10 reasons children with autism deserve ABA. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 4(1), 72–79. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF03391777
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Guest author Daniel Sherwin of Dadsolo shares ideas for one of the hardest parts of the day- mornings! These are much better than my personal strategy- drink all the coffee. Thank you, Dadsolo!
Are you stressed out in the mornings? Crazy trying to get everyone out of the house on time? Now you can be calmer and more prepared. Here are some tips to help you get yourself and your kids up and going in the morning:
The important thing to remember is that none of these steps matter if they don’t encourage your children to improve each and every day. You can even use one step to reward the successful completion of another. For instance, if your daughter completes her chores on time before you have to ask, let her pick the morning’s music. By staying consistent and offering rewards that encourage further cooperation, you, and your family, can thwart stress and enjoy your morning routine.
Be sure to check out Dadsolo.com for more ideas and awesome infographics!
Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA