So now that you've got a good idea of what the first step in solving stubborn and disruptive behavior is, it's time to go to the second step: collecting information.
Get more details about what's going on.
In this step, you're trying to get more information on what's going on with your child. In order to do this, you need a broader picture: you need to know when, where, and how often he acts out.
I'll admit this step is a bit of a pain of the neck initially, because it's not always easy to remember to write things down. But it is important, because it helps you pinpoint why your child is acting the way they are.
For example, not long after my daughter started first grade, the teacher told me that she was acting out in school. In this case I wasn't able to observe her behavior firsthand, but by carefully questioning the teacher I figured out that she was only misbehaving in the first period of class. You can read about how I solved it here.
So even though you may be tempted to skip this stage, don't. Instead, try these tips to help you do keep track efficiently and effectively:
Use these tips to help you keep track.
Symtrend is a good choice if you're trying to track a behavior that involves daily living skills (eating, bathing, getting dressed, etc.). It takes you step by step through the process of recording the behavior, and then uses charts to help you analyze why the behavior is occurring. Here are some screenshots:
At $10.99, it's a relatively inexpensive app for kids with special needs. However be aware that there is a $10 six month subscription fee for the app. That's about the same as a fancy coffee and a pastry, though, and the app is good enough to justify the cost. The charts are a great way of helping you create a great behavior program for your child. The only problem is that this app is specifically for daily living skills issues, so it won't work for you if your child is acting out in a different area.
Behavior Tracker Pro, at $29.99, is a more expensive app, but it has more sophisticated features than Symtrend. It's not hard to use, but it does require some understanding in behavior modification in order to use it, since some (though not all) of the terms may seem a little odd. However if you spent a little time figuring it out, it might be worth it for you, since it goes through the whole process of behavior management. It also coordinates well with school behavior plans, since teachers and others who work with your child can enter there own data on their smartphones.
Here's a video for the iPhone; there is also an Android version:
You can also just try the old-fashioned way of writing things down, if you're a put off by tech. The best way to do this without losing all of your papers, is to keep a chart in each room of your house, taped in an obvious place. Tape a pen next to it, so you won't have to go looking for something to write with.
This way you can just jot down a brief note about what happened, putting everything together after a few days.
Questions? Comments? Love to hear from you below...