Early Intervention Speech Therapy-Tips for Managing Behavior

Posted in Health Care POV

by Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP

Last week I wrote a post entitled: Handling Behaviors in Home Care. Today’s entry is a follow-up post sharing my own go-to list for how to manage behaviors during my speech sessions in school and in home care, as well as in my own home with my own children. I also share these techniques when working with parents in the home care setting who are struggling to control and manage the behaviors of their children. We talk about these ideas and concepts and we discuss ways parents can incorporate them into their routine.

I am by no means a behavior specialist or expert. That being said, I have attended numerous behavior-based trainings over the years and for me, much of this list is a common sense approach to behavior management.   

  • 1. Be Consistent – Children will test adults over and over to see if the rules have changed, have you changed your mind, etc. Keep your rules consistent. If you don’t want them jumping on the couch on Monday, don’t say it’s ok on Tuesday, but not ok again on Thursday. That is confusing for a child. Stay consistent so they understand the expectations and what they should and should not be doing, not just some of the time, but all of the time.
  • 2. Be fair – Pick your battles. Try not to be too rigid and then the child may want to rebel. It’s important to be realistic given the child’s age, ability, etc. If there is a sibling or two present, remember to keep the rules and expectations consistent for everyone.
  • 3. Be a Good Example – Children learn more by watching what you do, then by being told what to do. They are always observing to see and hear what you have said and done. For example, if you do not allow your child(ren) to eat in the living room, then it is important that you do not eat in the living room. Be a good role model – if you want your children to say please and thank you, clean up after themselves, etc., then it is vital that you model this behavior. Children will repeat what they see happening on a daily basis.

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