How to motivate through big behavior issues
What do we do if our child has a major behavior issue? How do we motivate through it? Most of the children who come through our Sheridan House residential program are there because of a major behavior issue. This does not mean that they are failures or that it is hopeless, by any stretch. Behavior modification is all about teaching that there are positive rewards when you make the right choice and negative consequences for the poor choice. One of the best motivations is relationship. If the residential children make the right choices then they have the free time to hang out with the staff. (this doesn’t mean that the staff “remove” their relationship for the poor choices, just that the children have chosen free time rather then work. There are many times that a staff member will go sit with a child who has chosen to be outside working to communicate support. )
One thing that we always must communicate is our love. If your child is making poor choices, then consequence the choice and attempt motivate them to make the right choice. For example, say your child comes home with a “D” or “F” on their interim report. The natural consequence for that may be extra study in that class. Go the extra mile and if your child is having a good attitude about studying spend some time helping them. When they reach the goal of a good grade and earn the free time back go crazy. Have a special dinner and maybe a family game night to celebrate. Take the time to creatively communicate your love and support through difficult seasons. That you are not only your child’s cheerleader but you are on their team!
For more insight listen to today’s podcast on motivation.