Second Grade: Supporting Your Child and Their Behavior
Positive feedback is a very effective way to motivate children and help them feel good about who they are. When giving positive feedback, let the child know why she is receiving it - and mean what you say. It is important to be specific and sincere.
Avoid saying, "Johnny, you have done a good job." Say specifically what he did. "Johnny, you did a good job on your addition and subtraction tables." Being too general with positive feedback may appear phony to the child.
Goals of Misbehavior
When problems occur, ask yourself what the underlying cause of the misbehavior might be.
Child's Faulty Belief
Parent Feeling and Reaction
|Attention||I belong only when I am being noticed or served.||
Reaction: Tendency to remind and coax
|Temporarily stops misbehavior. Later resumes same behavior or disturbs in another way.||Ignore misbehavior when possible. Give attention for positive behavior when child is not making a bid for it. Avoid undue service. Realize that reminding, punishing, rewarding, coaxing and service are undue attention.|
|Power||I belong only when I am in control or am proving no one can boss me!||
Feeling: Angry, provoked, as if one's authority is threatened
Reaction: Tendency to fight or to give in.
|Active - or passive - aggressive misbehavior is intensified, or child submits with defiant compliance.||Withdraw from conflict. Help child see how to use power constructively by appealing for child's help and enlisting cooperation. Realize that fighting or giving in only increases child's desire for power.|
|Revenge||I belong only by hurting others as I feel hurt. I cannot be loved.||
Feeling: Deeply hurt
Reaction: Tendency to retaliate and get even.
|Seeks further revenge by intensifying behavior or choosing another weapon.||Avoid feeling hurt. Avoid punishment and retaliation. Build trusting relationship; convince child that she/he is loved.|
|Display of Inadequacy||I belong only by convincing others not to expect anything from me. I am unable; I am helpless.||
Feeling: Despair; hopelessness. "I give up."
Reaction: Tendency to agree with child that nothing can be done.
|Passively responds or fails to respond to whatever is done. Shows no improvement.||Stop all criticism. Encourage any positive attempt, no matter how small; focus on assets, don't be hooked into pity, and don't give up.|
R. Dreikurs, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP) Program, American Guidance Service.
Reprinted with the permission of the Iowa State University Extension. © 2008 Iowa State University Extension.
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