Changing Behavior

I'm a firm believer that when you're trying to change a child's behavior, punishment doesn't work, and redirection isn't enough. If you want to take away a negative behavior, replace it with a positive one.

For instance, 8-year-old "Joe" has developed a pattern at night where after going to bed, he always gets out of bed to share a piece of information with his mother. She's tried scolding him, bartering with him, but nothing seems to stop. To change that behavior, we've added to the bedtime routine: every night, for the first two songs on his CD, he has to rub his "rubbing rock". Now he's focused on rubbing the rock, and spends considerably less time getting out of bed.