Concept of Parenting

Tip 27: Shaping Behavior of Children, part 1

In ABC Parenting framework, we have gone through Antecedents(A) and some behaviors of one to three year-old children. Today we focus on changing behavior using shaping. Shaping is a step by step way of changing or getting a behavior. It is a systematic way to start small steps and reward more and more time with the behavior. For instance if you want your child to do one hour home work, you will start with 10 minutes for some days and build on by incrementally adding more time. Shaping can replace nagging and change behavior. For instance if your kid is not eating vegetables, you can start with one tiny vegetable on a spoon and check the behavior. If he is successful praise the child and build on. When they eat vegetables in your absence, for instance at school, they will inform you. And you would say, Kwadwo it is great that you ate vegetables at school.

If you want your child to clear all the plates from dinning table and wash them, you can use shaping. First let him clear his own plate from the table for a couple of days. If successful praise the behavior. Then you can move to add more clearings and then add cleaning part. You can motivate them with an Antecedents such as a playful challenge if they are not yielding: Haha Haha, I bet you can’t clear your plate after eating. Check your tone. You can also help your child to clear the table. Praising your child for being a good listener will help him to be a good listener.

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