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The Behavior Makeovers

All of the strategies you need to help you change your kid's behavior are provided in this book. But after working with hundreds of parents with these ideas, I'm convinced there are a few supplies and ideas that will help your makeover efforts. I strongly recommend you follow the five key tasks of preparation each time you try a new makeover to achieve long-term behavior change:

  • Use a Makeover Journal. Each makeover poses questions to help you think about your kid's behavior. I urge you to write your thoughts and action plan in what I call a Makeover Journal. It could be a nice leather journal or a plain spiral notebook; either is fine. But be sure to write in it consistently every day. You'll be able to reread your notations, see behavior patterns that you otherwise might have missed, and track your kid's progress. Even the most reluctant parents have found that using a Makeover Journal has been invaluable for their efforts.
  • Talk to essential caregivers. Consult others who know your child well – family, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, relatives, coaches, scout leaders, Sunday school teachers, ministers, babysitters – to find out their perspective on your child's behavior. For instance: Does your child act the same way with them? What do they think is causing the misbehavior? How do they respond? Does it work? What suggestions do they have? When you develop any makeover plan, share it with them. The more you work together, the quicker you'll be in stopping the problem behavior. Consistency is a critical part of an effective makeover.
  • Track the targeted behavior on a calendar. An important makeover tool is a monthly calendar. Find one that has space for you to write a few sentences each day about your kid's behavior progress. For instance, note the date the behavior began. Once the makeover begins, every day jot down the number of times your kid displays the misbehavior. If your behavior plan is effective, you'll gradually see a decline in the frequency of misbehaviors, and you'll know your plan is working.
  • Read the resources. Following each makeover is a list of further reading. Some are for you, and others are for your child. They provide a more thorough background about the behavior and offer more helpful hints for your makeover. Read a selection or two each time you target a behavior to make over.
  • Form a parent support group. One of the best ways to use this book is by discussing these issues with other parents. You'll realize that other parents' kids have similar behavior problems as yours – which is always a bit comforting – as well as have the chance to hear their suggestions of what works or doesn't work in ridding bad behaviors. So form or join a group. Any size is fine; even one other parent will do. Just make sure you all enjoy one another and will commit to meeting regularly.

From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.

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