Posted in Parenting

FROZEN Behavior Contracts

Behavior Contracts can be a really useful tool for caregivers to use when trying to increase or decrease a behavior.  Some benefits include:

  • Behavior contracts help caregivers and children keep track of the behavior and the reward.
  • Kids can get involved in filling it out as the day goes by – this is motivating for them!
  • You can modify them as time goes on by changing the reward or making it a little harder to earn the reward.
  • Well-written behavior contracts have very specific expectations, so there’s no question as to whether a child earned the reward or not.

I have created six different Frozen behavior contracts for parents to use.  They are fill-in-the-blank so that you can insert your child’s name, specify what the goal behavior is, and specify a reward.  These can also be used as chore charts – you’d just write chores in instead of a behavior.

Some tips:

  • Try to use proactive language.  Instead of “Krista will not swear,” use “Krista will use nice words all day.”  Or instead of “Krista will not run,” use “Krista will walk” or “Krista will use walking feet.”
  • BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
  • Preteach the contract to your child to make sure they understand it.
  • There are contracts for filling in 3, 4, or 5 characters or boxes – decide how easy the behavior is going to be for your child, then pick one to start.  If the goal is probably going to be very difficult, start with 3.  If it’s going to be fairly easy, start with 5.  You can always try it for a few days and adjust up or down if necessary.
  • The “outline” contracts allow your child to color in 3, 4, or 5 Frozen characters.
  • The “box” contracts allow your child to fill in boxes (color in, check, start, or smiley face) nex to Frozen characters.

 

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For the 3-character OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 4-character OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 5-character OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 3-character BOX version, click here.

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For the 4-character BOX version, click here.

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For the 5-character BOX version, click here.

Posted in Parenting

TROLLS Behavior Contracts

I had a special request to create some Poppy (from TROLLS) behavior contracts today (how fun!).  I made some with some other TROLLS characters as well.  Here’s my blurb about behavior contracts:

Behavior Contracts can be a really useful tool for caregivers to use when trying to increase or decrease a behavior.  Some benefits include:

  • Behavior contracts help caregivers and children keep track of the behavior and the reward.
  • Kids can get involved in filling it out as the day goes by – this is motivating for them!
  • You can modify them as time goes on by changing the reward or making it a little harder to earn the reward.
  • Well-written behavior contracts have very specific expectations, so there’s no question as to whether a child earned the reward or not.

I have created six different TROLLS (and six with just Poppy) behavior contracts for parents to use.  They are fill-in-the-blank so that you can insert your child’s name, specify what the goal behavior is, and specify a reward.  These can also be used as chore charts – you’d just write chores in instead of a behavior.

Some tips:

  • Try to use proactive language.  Instead of “Krista will not swear,” use “Krista will use nice words all day.”  Or instead of “Krista will not run,” use “Krista will walk” or “Krista will use walking feet.”
  • BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
  • Preteach the contract to your child to make sure they understand it.
  • There are contracts for filling in 3, 4, or 5 characters or boxes – decide how easy the behavior is going to be for your child, then pick one to start.  If the goal is probably going to be very difficult, start with 3.  If it’s going to be fairly easy, start with 5.  You can always try it for a few days and adjust up or down if necessary.
  • The “outline” contracts allow your child to color in 3, 4, or 5 TROLLS characters.
  • The “box” contracts allow your child to fill in boxes (color in, check, start, or smiley face) nex to TROLLS characters.

 

TROLLS (multiple characters)

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For the 3-character TROLLS box version, click here.

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For the 4-character TROLLS box version, click here.

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For the 5-character TROLLS box version, click here.

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For the 3-character TROLLS OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 4-character TROLLS OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 5-character TROLLS OUTLINE version, click here.

POPPY-ONLY

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For the 3-Poppy box version, click here.

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For the 4-Poppy box version, click here.

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For the 5-Poppy box version, click here.

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For the 3-Poppy OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 4-Poppy OUTLINE version, click here.

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For the 5-Poppy OUTLINE version, click here.

 

Posted in Parenting

Paw Patrol Behavior Contracts

Behavior Contracts can be a really useful tool for caregivers to use when trying to increase or decrease a behavior.  Some benefits include:

  • Behavior contracts help caregivers and children keep track of the behavior and the reward.
  • Kids can get involved in filling it out as the day goes by – this is motivating for them!
  • You can modify them as time goes on by changing the reward or making it a little harder to earn the reward.
  • Well-written behavior contracts have very specific expectations, so there’s no question as to whether a child earned the reward or not.

I have created six different Paw Patrol behavior contracts for parents to use.  They are fill-in-the-blank so that you can insert your child’s name, specify what the goal behavior is, and specify a reward.  These can also be used as chore charts – you’d just write chores in instead of a behavior.

Some tips:

  • Try to use proactive language.  Instead of “Krista will not swear,” use “Krista will use nice words all day.”  Or instead of “Krista will not run,” use “Krista will walk” or “Krista will use walking feet.”
  • BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
  • Preteach the contract to your child to make sure they understand it.
  • There are contracts for filling in 3, 4, or 5 characters or boxes – decide how easy the behavior is going to be for your child, then pick one to start.  If the goal is probably going to be very difficult, start with 3.  If it’s going to be fairly easy, start with 5.  You can always try it for a few days and adjust up or down if necessary.
  • The “outline” contracts allow your child to color in 3, 4, or 5 Paw Patrol characters.
  • The “box” contracts allow your child to fill in boxes (color in, check, start, or smiley face) nex to Paw Patrol characters.

 

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For a 3-character BOX contract, click here.

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For a 4-character BOX contract, click here.

 

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For a 5-character BOX contract, click here.

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For a 3-character OUTLINE contract, click here.

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For a 4-character OUTLINE contract, click here.

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For a 5-character OUTLINE contract, click here.

 

 

Posted in Parenting

MINIONS Behavior Contracts

Behavior Contracts can be a really useful tool for caregivers to use when trying to increase or decrease a behavior.  Some benefits include:

  • Behavior contracts help caregivers and children keep track of the behavior and the reward.
  • Kids can get involved in filling it out as the day goes by – this is motivating for them!
  • You can modify them as time goes on by changing the reward or making it a little harder to earn the reward.
  • Well-written behavior contracts have very specific expectations, so there’s no question as to whether a child earned the reward or not.

I have created six different Minions behavior contracts for parents to use.  They are fill-in-the-blank so that you can insert your child’s name, specify what the goal behavior is, and specify a reward.  These can also be used as chore charts – you’d just write chores in instead of a behavior.

Some tips:

  • Try to use proactive language.  Instead of “Krista will not swear,” use “Krista will use nice words all day.”  Or instead of “Krista will not run,” use “Krista will walk” or “Krista will use walking feet.”
  • BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE
  • Preteach the contract to your child to make sure they understand it.
  • There are contracts for filling in 3, 4, or 5 characters or boxes – decide how easy the behavior is going to be for your child, then pick one to start.  If the goal is probably going to be very difficult, start with 3.  If it’s going to be fairly easy, start with 5.  You can always try it for a few days and adjust up or down if necessary.
  • The “outline” contracts allow your child to color in 3, 4, or 5 Minion characters.
  • The “box” contracts allow your child to fill in boxes (color in, check, start, or smiley face) nex to Minion characters.

 

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For a 3-Minion OUTLINE contract, click here.

 

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For a 4-Minion OUTLINE contract, click here.

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For a 5-Minion OUTLINE contract, click here.

 

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For a 3-Minion BOX contract, click here.

 

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For a 4-Minion BOX contract, click here.

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For a 5-Minion BOX contract, click here.

Posted in accepting decisions

Using Puzzles to Practice Accepting Decisions

Almost all children struggle with transitions, especially when they have to stop a preferred activity to go do something else.  Sometimes, as a therapist, I intentionally do something to trigger negative feelings in a child.  Not because I like to torture them, but because then the child can work through those feelings and practice using calming strategies to cope with them.  This is one of those activities.

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What I do is have a child start on a puzzle and tell them that they have a certain amount of time to work on it.  I then explain that once the time is up I am going to tell them to put the puzzle away (whether it’s finished or not) and the expectation is they will say “Ok” and clean it up right away.  No “let me put one more piece in” or a whiny “but I’m almost done!”  Just an “Ok.”

Then we practice.  The first few times I will warn the kiddo that their time is almost up, and remind them that they should say “Ok” and pick up right away.  I also prompt them to use a calming strategy, in order to cope with any frustration they have with being directed to put the puzzle away without being able to complete it.  After they can successful do the practice a few times, then I stop any reminders or prompts and let them do it on their own.  As always, I provide lots of praise when they are able to accept the decision and use a calming strategy to regulate their emotions.

Posted in Parenting

Using Positive Interaction to Reset After Conflict with Your Child

Ever have one of those days where you and your child get upset with each other and can’t quite move past it?  Sometimes even just a little bit of conflict can negatively influence interactions for the rest of the day, whether it’s between parent and child or two adults.  It’s not fun for adults and it’s certainly not fun for children.  Children need positive attention; if they don’t get attention for the good things they’re doing, they’re more likely to act out to get attention.  That’s one reason a “reset” is necessary.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with a reset button (wouldn’t that be nice!).

reset-button

It can be very difficult to let go of a negative interaction, but it can make a big difference if parents can make a point of interacting positively with their child within a few minutes of any negative interactions.  For example, if you just corrected your child for climbing on the table (yes, again!) and a few minutes later you see that they are sitting at the table, praise them!  Or if a few minutes later they are sitting at the table and coloring, talk to them about what they are coloring.  Or sit down and color with them!  Engage with them in a positive way and it will act as a “reset” for both of you.

A few tips:

  • Don’t try to reset if your child is still engaging in negative behavior – this will only reinforce the negative behavior.  Wait until they are behaving how you would like them to.
  • Sound sincere!  I know it can be difficult to let frustrations go, but try to sound genuine (yes, your child can usually tell the difference).
  • Provide the interaction within a few minutes (again, as long as they’re engaging in positive behavior) – if your child gets positive interaction right away, it’s less likely that they’ll have the time to find another negative behavior to engage in.
Posted in Resources

Using Julia Cook Books to Discuss Social Skills

It can be really difficult to hold a child’s interest, especially when talking about behaviors and life skills. Books are a great way to facilitate discussion with children, without being super boring.  However, there are some very dull and dry books out there!!  Julia Cook’s books, on the other hand, are exciting, visually appealing, and FUN!

You can find a list of her books on her website: http://www.juliacookonline.com/

I honestly have not read a Julia Cook book that I haven’t loved, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Peer Pressure Gauge – from the title, you can tell this one is about peer pressure.  The characters are “numahs” (“human” backward) and it’s a really fun story about a kid being peer pressured by his classmate.
  • Personal Space Camp – all about boundaries and personal space (no, not outer space).
  • Soda Pop Head – a fun read about controlling angry feelings.

 

Posted in Parenting

Ending the “Stop”/”Don’t” Cycle: Using Positive Directions

“Stop running!”

“No!”

“Don’t touch that!”

“I said stop running!!!”

“NO!”

“STOP!!!”

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Sound familiar?  How many times have you caught yourself telling your child(ren) over and over (and over and over…) to “stop” something?  Or repeatedly saying “don’t” or “no?”  How frustrating! Those directions are often referred to as “negative” – not because they’re “bad,” but because they tell your child what NOT to do.  Many parents can benefit from switching their directions to include what the child should do instead.

What’s your response when someone says “don’t look!”  The majority of people look!  Your child can react the same way!  If you keep telling them to “stop touching the phone,” they are repeatedly going to hear the word “phone.”  Guess what they’re going to think about?  The phone!  If you instead tell them to go play outside, you’ve interrupted their thought about the phone and have gotten them to think about another activity.

Depending on the age of your child, their problem-solving skills likely aren’t fully developed yet.  They can have a difficult time identifying what they should do if they are only told what not to do.  Imagine you’re on the phone and your kiddo keeps interrupting and trying to get your attention.  If you keep saying “stop” and “no” and “don’t,” your child may stop for a short (sometimes very short!) amount of time, but will probably start interrupting you again.  If, instead of negative directions, you tell your child to go color while they wait for you to get off the phone, they’re more likely to actually leave you alone for longer than 15 seconds and go color.  You’ve given them a positive direction by telling them what you’d like them to do.

It may take some practice, but giving a positive direction doesn’t take much more time and effort than giving a negative direction.  When you see your child doing something and you want them to stop, just think about what you’d like them to do instead.  Instead of “stop running,” try “please walk.”  Instead of “don’t touch your brother’s toys,” try “play with your own toys.”

It can also sometimes be helpful to give your child a choice.  If, while on the phone, you say, “go color or do your Frozen puzzle until I’m off the phone,” you’ve given your kid a choice.  This is helpful for a few reasons.  It helps them develop decision-making skills, and also gives them two ideas in case they decide they really don’t want to color today; you’re less likely to be met with “I don’t want to color!” because they were also given the option of doing their puzzle.