This past Saturday was our first parent/child class. Ann was there too which was another wonderful addition! We were going to have them practice identifying ABC’s but some of the children started demonstrating behavioral problems so we switched to talking about what was happening right there. With that, we identified the ABC’s, identified the function and then started prompting replacement behaviors. Ann jumped in with explaining how powerful a parent’s attention and praise is when trying to reinforce appropriate behaviors. We also explained the importance of remaining neutral and how to NOT give attention to the children when the inappropriate behavior was functioning for that reason. We did this type of format for each parent– if the child was demonstrating a behavior, we used that as the example and then started on how to teach a replacement behavior.
In the second hour, one of our fathers came in with his son. His son appeared to bite his own arm as a way to get more attention from his father. His father is very loving and basically gave his son attention no matter what he was doing. It was an opportunity to explain the function of the biting while teaching an alternative way his child could get his attention. This father started practicing right away. He was very excited and said he learned something that day!
I gave parents from the second group one thing to practice until we meet up again. Each practice exercise is related to a target behavior they most are having difficulty at home. After we identified the ABC and the function, we offered an alternative replacement behavior and how to teach it. They will report their experiences at the next class.