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12 Levels of Behavior Intervention for Implementing Positive Child Guidance

12 Levels of Behavior Intervention for Implementing Positive Child Guidance

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12 Levels of Behavior Intervention for Implementing Positive Child Guidance

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  1. 12 Levels ofBehavior Interventionfor ImplementingPositive Child Guidance Dr. Will Mosier Professor Wright State University Director of Research Center for the Study of Child Development

  2. How to use the 12 levels of intervention • Always start with the beginning intervention first • When the desired change is not achieved at a lower level of intervention, add-on the next level of intervention while continuing the previous strategies • Never go backwards! Do not remain using only a level of intervention previously used, without adding-on a higher level of intervention, if a specific undesired behavior continues. (If an undesired behavior continues from one day to the next, even if days are not consecutive, add the next higher level of intervention while continuing with the previously utilized lower levels of intervention.) This is key to reinforcing self-control! If you revert to the same level of intervention that didn’t work yesterday, don’t be surprised if the behavior continues. YOU are reinforcing the behavior if the child is receiving the same attention he/she received yesterday with no evidence of diminished unacceptable behavior. • Do not skip levels of intervention! Increase the levels of intervention, in order, as needed.

  3. 12 steps toward positive child guidance • “Ignore” unwanted behavior (Any attention will tend to reinforce reoccurrence of the behavior) • Arrange environment to minimize disruptive behavior (Rearrange room to avoid repeat of disruptive behavior) • Use “neutral time” to discuss alternative behavior (circle time, story time) • Verbally commend the child when he is doing something acceptable (Draw attention to other children when they are displaying acceptable behavior) Reinforce acceptable behavior • Approximate the child (Start walking toward the child) • Stand next to the child • Stay with the child for an extended period of time • Apply gentle appropriate touch (Place your hand on child’s shoulder) • Verbally cue expected behavior while touching the child (You must apply gentle tactile stimulation before providing verbal cue) • Undo/Redo (manually facilitate guiding the child’s actions) • Keep the child with you for one transition • Keep the child with you through as many transitions as necessary to extinguish the disruptive behavior

  4. The first time you notice a child doing an unacceptable behavior, the behavior should be ignored The child may stop the unwanted behavior without any an additional steps Do not give attention to unwanted behavior Level 1: Avoid giving attention to unwanted behavior (ignore)

  5. See what changes to the environment can be made to help limit unwanted behavior If the way the environment is arranged is not helping to discourage disruptive behavior, rearrange it Plan ahead to minimize the risk for repeat disruptions Examples: Move student’s desk closer to you Take down distractions hanging from the ceiling that may cause student to loose focus Bring the child closer to you You stay closer to the child Level 2: Arrange the environment to avoid disruptive behavior

  6. Use a neutral time to discuss unwanted behavior that is occurring in your class “Circle time” is a great opportunity to address unwanted behavior Reading books about the behavior can lead to great problem-solving discussions After reading a book you can talk with the children about the behavior and find child-centered solutions to the problem Level 3: Discuss the behavior at a “neutral time”

  7. Level 3: Address the problem during a “neutral time” (continued) • It is important to discuss the behavior only at a neutral time, such as circle time – Not at the time of the behavior • During a neutral time you can read a book about the problem behavior • Example: • If a child hits someone, later in the day read a book about hitting • Use a “Neutral Time” to sing a song about being kind to others • The students could watch a video that deals with socially competent ways of resolving conflict • The students could role-play what to do in similar situations • You could use puppets to talk about the problem behavior

  8. Level 3: Discuss the problem during a “neutral time” (continued) • When addressing a problem behavior during circle time it is important to reference the specific child who displayed the unacceptable behavior • However, this must be done in a non-blaming manner: “ Since Billy hit Sara today, we are going to talk about hitting, sing a song about not hurting others and read a book about how to solve problems without hurting others.”

  9. Level 4: Catch the child being “good”! • This level of intervention is the most important for prevention • Comment on individual children demonstrating acceptable behavior • If the child continues unacceptable behavior, continue commenting on other individual children doing something acceptable without drawing attention to the child who is displaying the unacceptable behavior • Even if the child only does something acceptable for “one second”, take the time to notice and comment on it – at that moment

  10. Catch the student who typically is displaying unwanted behavior acting appropriately, even if it only lasts a brief moment While you ignore the unwanted behavior, draw attention to acceptable behavior being modeled by some other student in the classroom (or the disruptive child at a moment when he is not being disruptive) Use a three-part “I” message for reinforcement Examples: Wow ____(child’s name)! When I see you ______ (identify acceptable behavior), it makes me so ____ (identify your feelings about the behavior) that I want to ______(identify what it makes you want to do) “Oh Hayden! When I see you sitting there with your pencil in your hand I feel so happy I just want to say hurray for Hayden!” Level 4: Watch for positive behavior in other children (continued)

  11. “Approximate” means to start walking in the general direction of the child Approximate the child, still giving no attention to the unwanted behavior, while pointing-out the acceptable behavior modeled by another student using a three-part “I” message Do not look directly at the student, just be within eye shot of him/her If the child sees you he may stop the disruptive behavior Example: Slowly start walking in the direction of the disruptive child It may not be necessary to go all the way to the child Stop moving towards the child when you notice the behavior stop Continue with positive three-part “I” messages as reinforcement for acceptable behavior that you see in the room Level 5: Approximate

  12. If unwanted behavior still persists approximate the child, still ignoring unwanted behavior and using positive three-part “I” messages to reinforce acceptable behavior, when you reach the child stay by the child until unwanted behavior stops If after the teacher leaves the unwanted behavior starts up again, approximate next to child for a longer period of time while continuing with positive three-part “I” message Walk to the student and stop Continue teaching or directing the rest of the class from that position The child will notice you standing next to her and this may motivate the child to discontinue unacceptable behavior Level 6: Stand by the child

  13. Level 7: Stay by the child • When the child does not initially respond to you standing next to her, stay there for an extended period of time • The child may need time to get the message that you are there to stay until the behavior stops

  14. Level 8: Apply Gentle, Appropriate Touch • Sometimes children do not respond to the simple presence of an adult • So, the next step is to use physical stimulation in the form of gentle touch to communicate your expectation • Just lay your hand gently on the child’s shoulder • It is important to continue positive verbal interaction with other students using three-part “I” messages while touching the child who is doing the inappropriate behavior • Example: • If unwanted behavior persists, rest your hand on the disruptive child’s shoulder while providing positive verbal attention to children displaying acceptable behavior • Positive reinforcement must be done using three-part “I” messages

  15. Level 8: What Can I Do if the Child Does Not Want to be Touched? (continued) • Some children become defensive when a teacher touches them, even when this is done gently • Simply remain at Level: 7 occasionally patting the child on the shoulder until they are desensitized to the “fear of being touched” • You are still touching the child, only in a less threatening way for that child • This is still effective and the child will eventually become responsive to gentle, appropriate touch as a tool to facilitate redirecting of behavior

  16. State direction in first-person singular while touching the child Each time the directive is repeated it must be in first-person singular while gently touching the child (Never initiate verbal cue prior to touching the child when you are at intervention Level 9) First: Gently touch the child Second: Verbally cue the desired behavior Example: If the child is to put his name on his paper and is not following the directive, physically touch the child gently on the shoulder and restate the directive in first-person singular “I am going to pick-up my pencil and write my name on my paper, now.” Level 9: Verbal Cueing (while applying gentle touch)

  17. Hand-over-hand reinforcement Undo/Redo means to physically assist the child to undo their unacceptable act and replace it with the acceptable act This requires using first-person singular to model positive self-talk for the child Example: If the directions are for the child to write his or her name on the top of the paper, a teacher would say, “ I will write my name on my paper now” )while guiding the child’s hand to complete the task) Level 10: Undo Redo

  18. Level 10: Examples of undo/redo (continued) Examples: • If a child hit another child, to undo the act the teacher will gently take the child’s hand and facilitate it moving toward the other child’s arm modeling how to use gentle touch • The adult will say “ It’s not like me to hurt my friend, I touch my friend gently.” • If a child is distracted from the task of writing her name on her paper take the child’s hand and physically facilitate her writing her name on the paper while stating: “ I’m going to write my name at the top of my paper, now.”

  19. If unacceptable behavior persists, keep child with you for one transition Use three-part “I” message to explain why the child must stay with you When keeping child with you for one transition you should state: “When I see you hit Mary (child’s behavior), I feel scared (Your feeling). So, I am going to keep you with me (what you are going to do) until I feel safe that you understand that I touch other people gently Level 11: Keep the child with you

  20. Level 11: Keeping the child with you(continued) • If the child’s behavior continues after Undo/Redo, keep the child with you for one transition • This requires the student to sit next to you during an activity, or go wherever you go in the classroom • When there is a change in activity, the child is allowed to leave your side

  21. Level 11: What to say to the child when he asks to leave your side prior to the next transition (continued) • When you have the child with you for a transition, the child will inevitably ask to be allowed to do something else. You say: • “ You really want to play with the blocks , when I feel safe that you understand I touch my friends gently, then you can play with the blocks – maybe later.” • “ You really want to go outside now but remember when you pulled Sara’s hair, when I feel safe that you know that I touch my friends gently, then you can go outside – maybe later.” • “ You want to work in the art area, but remember when to threw the chair. When I feel safe that you understand that I sit on my chair then you can work in the art area – maybe later.”

  22. If after one transition the unwanted behavior is still going on you will keep the child with you for more than one transition Use empathic understanding and three-part “I” messages to address the child wanting to do something other than stay with you This is the most appropriate way to address the child’s behavior without damaging self esteem Example: If the consequence is for the child to stay with you until the next transition - be empathic but don’t break the rule To a request for being allowed to not remain with you say: “You would really like to play outside with your friends, but do you remember earlier when you hit Susie? Until I feel safe that you understand that I touch Susie gently you will have to stay with me for the rest of recess, maybe after recess is over you can do something else.” Level 12: Keeping the child with you over multiple transitions

  23. Level 12: Keeping the child with you for a longer period of time (continued) • If the child has been with you for multiple transitions and the unacceptable behavior continues, keep the child with you permitting intermittent trials of independence • Tell the child that he has to stay with you for another transition until you feel safe that the disruptive behavior will stop • Use empathic responses and three-part “I” messages with the child throughout the duration of the “time-out” period of being with you

  24. Level 12: Keeping the child with you for a longer period of time (continued) • Hopefully by now the child will realize that if he does not want to be with the teacher all the time he needs to discontinue the unacceptable behavior • However, some children will continue with disruptive behavior for a protracted period of time • This does not mean that this step will not eventually work – it only means that the child has a greater problem with impulse control • This method will eventually work – if you are consistently persistent

  25. Two points to remember • The two skills that are most useful for facilitating behavior change without damaging a child cognitively, emotionally or socially are: • Communicating empathic understanding • Using three-part “I” messages

  26. Communicate empathic understanding • When a child comes to you with a problem use empathic understanding to touch the child’s feelings so they may become independent in their thinking • Child: Teacher what do you think of my picture? • Teacher: Wow, you are really excited about your picture, you must really like it.

  27. To reinforce positive behavior “When I see you… (child’s action)” “It makes me feel… (your positive feeling)” “I just want to say hurray for you.” (your action) “When I see you writing with you pencil it makes me so happy I just want to say hurray for you!” To discourage negative behavior “When I see you… (child’s action)” “It makes me feel… (your feeling)” “I just want to cry.” (your action) “When I see you hit Sally, it makes me so sad I just want to cry.” Three-part “I” message

  28. 3-part “I” messages (continued) • The Three Part “ I” Message is a statement about the child’s behavior but it focuses on the feelings of the teacher about the behavior and what the teacher wants to do because of her feelings

  29. Examples of What to Say Using the Three-Part “I” Message for positive reinforcement (Three-part “I” messages-continued) • “ When I see you coloring with that crayon, I feel so happy, I want to say “Yahoo!” • “When I see you reading the directions on your paper, I feel proud, and it makes me want to smile.” • “ When I see you putting away your papers, it makes me feel so excited that I want to do a dance.” • “When I see you sharing your markers with Sara, I feel so happy. It makes me want to jump up and down.”

  30. 3-part “I” messages (continued) • When a child is doing an unacceptable behavior repeatedly, it is important to “ Catch him being good.” • Comment on anything the child is doing right • It may seem small, but giving the child recognition for that will help him focus on positive change

  31. Conclusion • These steps are developmentally appropriate ways of behavior modification • These steps do not damage the self esteem of a child or degrade the child in any way • Following these steps will lead to a more peaceful classroom