1350 N. Buckner Blvd., Suite 220, Dallas, TX 75218

Improving Behavior – Think Shaping, Not Discipline

“We’ve run out of ideas for punishment.”  “What ideas do you have for discipline?” This lets me know there is some room for clarity and creativity.

Punishment and discipline are not goals. The goal is most likely New and Improved Behaviors.  Let’s consider ways to shape behaviors instead. Shaping is a step-by-shape method of re-patterning behaviors. A good first step is to build on the positives already in place.

  • Praise the positives and they are more likely to be repeated.
    Thanks for doing that! Good job! I’m impressed!
  • Model what you hope to see in both actions and words.
    Use kind words- hear kind words. 
  • Say what you want, not what you don’t want.
    Stay out of the street doesn’t mean Get on the sidewalk.
    Be direct and uncomplicated for the best effect and the least frustration.

This approach doesn’t mean you let the negatives slide by. I’m suggesting that you put more energy into providing the child with guidance and direction. Your goal should be shaping so there is always more good and less bad. It’s a reasonable goal and everyone will feel better when they see it can be done.