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Looking Beyond Behaviors

From birth through adulthood, we desire to connect with those around us and do so in a variety of settings and situations. Throughout time, we learn the necessary social skills and life skills that help form connections and build relationships. 

While a lot of learning occurs naturally throughout development, there are some skills that require direct models of teaching. An example of that is the Positive Discipline Model.

Read more about it in our blog!

The Positive Discipline framework by Jane Nelsen is based on the belief that discipline must be taught, just as discipline is used to teach. The Positive Discipline model (taken directly from positivediscipline.com) is based on five criteria which includes:

  1. Kind and Firm. (Respectful and encouraging) 
  2. Helps children feel a sense of Belonging and Significance. (Connection) 
  3. Effective Long-Term. (Punishment works short term, but has negative long-term results.) 
  4. Teaches valuable Social and Life Skills for good character. (Respect, concern for others, problem-solving, accountability, contribution, cooperation.) 
  5. Invites children to discover how Capable they are and to use their personal power in constructive ways.

It is easy to observe a meltdown, use of physical aggression, or lack of participation and begin to make assumptions or pass judgement about that individual. But when we do this, we are doing ourselves a disservice by closing off the ability to discover what these acts truly mean. Often times, these actions are communicating a bigger message, we just have to figure out what it is.

Advice from a therapist:

One way I have raised my own awareness and educated parents, caregivers and other professionals on this topic is working through the lens of Positive Discipline and using the Mistaken Goal Chart. This chart outlines understanding behaviors with various perspectives in mind. Rather than just observe what is happening throughout a situation, the Mistaken Goal Chart guides you through understanding behaviors by the way you feel.

10 3 19 Identifying Behaviors Chart e1569857104529

By tapping into your emotional response from the behavior, it is easier to identify the goal of your child’s action. As a result, it allows you to provide a response encourage and promote appropriate communicative words and actions by empowering them to do so. 

If you or a loved one is in need of physical, occupational, or speech therapy please reach out to us at 586-323-2957 to scheduled your FREE 30 minute screening.

Written by: Caroline Farney, M.S., CF-SLP

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