As families plan for summer fun and think ahead to the next school year, a common thread of consideration is behavior. Whether at home or at school, if a child’s behavior interferes with his/her availability to learn, the impact of that behavior affects everything planned or hoped to accomplish.
As parents, we strive to establish behavioral expectations that guide our children toward the achievement of productive lives. As teachers, student behavior determines the climate and culture of the learning environment for ALL students. As caring adults, when behavior is seen as something that must be managed or controlled, we’ve missed valuable insights in how our children are functioning.
To support learning and guide your child’s behavior, establish a proactive approach:
Praise whenever you can – children are hardwired to respond to attention, whether positive or negative; so by increasing opportunities for praise, children will be supported to seek out positive praise.
Work from a plan – Consider the intention of the activities and environments in which your child is placed, if it’s playful support age appropriate, recreational interactions, but if that environment requires a more “controlled” type of behavior, plan ahead to allow your child sufficient movement and energy expenditure before expecting calmer behavioral performance
Establish a positive identity – Create an internal identity for your child that fosters a belief in his/her success. By stating the positive outcome that meets the behavioral expectation of the planned activity, the child knows the behavioral target and is affirmed that he/she can achieve it.
Behavior is communication. Listen, identify, support, and respond in a manner that builds the skills to be successful and your child will work to meet that expectation.