The table of points to improve the child's behavior
It is increasingly common to find children who lie, who are aggressive and challenging, who disobey, who insult ... All behaviors that appear as clear symptoms that there is some kind of behavior problem. When threats, screams and punishments are used in the child's environment to improve the child'
It is increasingly common to find children who lie, who are aggressive and challenging, who disobey, who insult ... All behaviors that appear as clear symptoms that there is some kind of behavior problem.
When threats, screams and punishments are used in the child's environment to improve the child's behavior, parents, teachers or close relatives are making mistakes and may have the opposite effect to the one they seek, even, increase even more the bad behavior of the children.
Therefore, to improve behavior it is necessary to use other ways of acting in these situations using strategies based on positive reinforcement and setting aside the punishment. In this sense, we can talk about the tables of points to improve the child's behavior, as an alternative method to punishment and that is based on offering other alternatives and reinforcing them.
What is the points table to improve the child's behavior?
It is a behavior modification tool based on the so-called "chip economy". This consists of selecting behaviors that will be positively reinforced when they appear, assigning a point or a sticker.
This type of points chart to improve the child's behavior is usually used when the child is around 6 years of age or older. They are very effective in changing concrete behaviors. To do this, they must be used appropriately and not abused to make them work and increase the likelihood that reinforced behaviors reappear in similar situations.
Errors in the use of point tables for children
This type of tables are very easy to use but, in spite of this, it is common to frequently incur in a series of habitual errors among which we can find the following:
- Delay the reinforcement (rewards). Sometimes, the error is made to reinforce with the point or the sticker many hours after the behavior appears, days and even stop being granted due to forgetfulness.
- Use generic behaviors. Many times the mistake is made to choose behaviors that are neither objective nor concrete, such as "behave well", "be good" and in the end do not know how to behave.
- Select unapproachable behaviors. Often behaviors are selected for which the child is not yet prepared due to maturation, such as "eating sitting".
- The way in which behavior is formulated. It is a common mistake to formulate the behaviors in a negative way. For example: "do not shout", "do not hit", "do not get on the couch", etc.
- Complexity in the system. Other times the error is to use a system that is too complex, granting points that are difficult to manage.
Tips for properly applying the table of points with the children
In order not to make all the usual mistakes described above, it is necessary to follow a series of tips:
- The design of the table can be done with the help of the child. It is one of the ways we have to involve the child in the participation of the process so that he feels involved.
- Elaboration of prizes list. They must be defined with precision and always have to be in view along with the points table.
- Clear and specific definition of behaviors. It is necessary to clearly specify the behaviors that you wish to reinforce. We have to clearly define what we want from the child so that he knows what is expected of him.
- Consensus. It is important that at the end of each day, parents and children, make a review for the tasks they have completed and those that have not. And that is how this will achieve a clear and real commitment in this matter.
- You have to keep the commitment. It does not work if one day we complete the picture and another does not. Or one day we give the prize and another no.
- Only positive reinforcements are given. Therefore, only points are obtained when the desired behavior is achieved, we will not give you "negative points" when you do not do it or remove stickers when you misbehave because of something else.
- It should not be an imposition. The points table is a system that must be used jointly by parents and children. Children must be prepared to carry out this incentive system. Therefore, if we do not get the child to change his behavior and it has been around two weeks, it is better to leave and wait until he is ready.