Planned Ignoring of inappropriate behaviors can be an effective method for reducing behaviors that primarily function to gain the attention of the adult. Using planned ignoring is challenging for most adults. When using planned ignoring, do not provide attention for the inappropriate behavior. Do not mention the fact that the person is misbehaving or doing the wrong thing. Simply guide him/her back to the correct thing to do. If the child is supposed to be working, guide them back to the work or task at hand. Point to the visual cues which show him/her what to do. Have him/her complete the task. Do not mention the behavior. To ignore a behavior means that you do not give any verbal attention, do not communicate with other adults during the behavior, do not give any eye contact or body language attention (ex. disapproving look) to the child at the time of the behavior. When you use this method, be ready for the extinction burst or increase in intensity of the individual’s behavior at first. (This is typical.)
Antiseptic Bouncing is a technique is used to prevent behavior from escalating. Using this approach, the individual is removed from a situation in a nonpunitive manner before a situation results in an inappropriate behavior response.
Involving the Child in the Activity
Making the child part of the activity can, at times, reduce inappropriate behaviors. Try to find a way to make the activity “doable” for the child and identify a section of the activity they can be successful at doing. This may mean planning the activity long before it actually takes place or creating a mock trial of an activity in which the stress of having it done perfectly is removed from the adult (ex. bake cookies for no reason, fold laundry on a non-laundry day, make lemonade outside, etc.) Include visual supports to help with understanding.
Involving the Child Link #1
According to Piaget, a child’s sense of knowing comes from schemes or mental structures. Initially, schemes are simple but over time they build upon each other and become more complex. In order for schemes to mean anything to the child, they must be balanced. Consistent structured routines will provide the child with the exposure and practice in the area of knowing how to use the item. The more times he/she is presented with a situation, the more experience he/she will gain and the better they will be at correctly performing that skill. Additionally, with the adult “setting the stage” with structured, consistent routines, the child will begin to understand that he/she has the ability to make things happen in their environment. The child begins to expect and count on certain things happening, which can increase better behavior.
Giving choices can help improve behaviors since children can have input in their lives.