cartoon boy laying on the ground

Select ONE Behavior

  • Begin by choosing one problem behavior that you feel disrupts your family the most.
  • By choosing one behavior at a time, both you and your child will be more successful.

Observe the Behavior

  • How would you explain to a neighbor or family member about your child's challenging behavior?
  • Write the problem behavior with words that describe what you see the child doing. This is an "observable" behavior because you can watch it happen. You can't really watch your child "not understand what he needs to do, " or "doesn't feel sorry for what he has done," but you could watch your child "get up from his chair several times during dinner" or "take toys away from his sister while playing together."

Measure the Behavior

  • Write the problem behavior in ways that let you measure or count how often it happens. For example, "sit at the dinner table for at least 5 minutes" or "share his toy with his sister at least once while they play together." These are "measurable" behaviors because you can measure how many times it happens or how long it lasts.
  • Then count how often the behavior occurs within a specific period of time (e.g., every day during breakfast, every Saturday morning) and write it down. This makes it easier to see the progress your child has made.
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