Often times, the missing link in changing a child’s negative behavior is the home school connection. When children exhibit challenging behaviors, the consistency between home and school are vital in making any long term changes. This connection can be reached through constant communication and unique systems that make both the teacher and parents life easier.
Recently we have begun a “Hole Punch” behavior modification technique with a student in order to reinforce positive behaviors. The child has two behaviors that he must exhibit in order to get a hole punch on a card: Follow teacher request the first time the request is made and Keep hands and feet in assigned area. When the child completes either task, he receives a hole punch.
Once the child receives 10 hole punches, he receives 2 minutes of time in his “super hero” basket. This basket contains all different kinds of superhero stamps, stickers, color books, and toys. This system is used in the school setting and the child has successfully responded and the number of behavioral incidents has decreased.
However, I believe the true success of this system is the follow through that happens at home. The parent uses an app called IRewards Chart. The parent types the same behaviors in their IRewards Chart. Depending on how many hole punches the student receives at school, the student can press the button on the phone to enter that many stars on the app. The parent also has added some additional chores and behaviors that are expected at home.
The app allows the parents to set up a reward chart, so the child can save their stars for certain items/rewards and then cash them in when they have enough stars. So, basically it is a token economy on a mobile device which is such an awesome idea!
Using this app is a perfect carry over from school and the connection is very clear to the student. It is also an easy implementation for parents since the app has created the system for you already and it is FREE!
This is just one example of the two “worlds” of home and school coming together to improve student behavior. This can also be accomplished by using Individual Behavior Charts for older students. Students receive points throughout the day on a behavior chart and then are rewarded for meeting their goal. The parent signs the chart and reinforces the positive behaviors at home.
Whatever the system that is chosen, the key is consistency and communication between the home and school. When the child knows that both the parent and the teacher are working together, this creates a more likely chance of lasting and permanent changes in behaviors.