Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Model Behaviour

Even though I have attended many professional development courses on positive behaviour management and delivered numerous training sessions to student teachers on the same subject, why is it that I still have some trepidation when it comes to managing the behaviour of my son. I am confident when faced with 30 'challenging' little people in class. However, when my one year old son continues to pick up and chew pieces of coal, then smile cheekily at my repeated utterances of "No! No! No!", I feel somewhat de-skilled.

So what do I do? I return to default mode and look for the answers in books. Simply put, the advice is that I should continue to say no and stick to my guns. The other advice is that Mrs Domestic Goddess Inc and I should decide on what behaviour/character traits we want our son to develop and then model them. We have talked about this a few times, sometimes linked to the "I should exercise more and eat less bad stuff" type of conversation.

So let me consider the behaviours that myself and Mrs DGI model at the moment from our son's point of view.

How to put away your clothes.
When I get undressed I should lie on my back on the changing table, cause much fuss, make much noise and then, as the parents do, throw my dirty garments onto a pile on the floor just outside my bedroom. This pile should continue to be added to and rise for a few days until it is too big to go unnoticed or it becomes a hindrance to step over. At some unknown point this pile will disappear and I should start all over again.

This is the main way to get the attention of someone in the house, especially if they are in another part of the building. You should continue to do this until the other person in the house answers you. They still won't be able to understand exactly what you say, so you keep on doing it until they come and find out what you want. Shouting can also be used if you get frustrated.

Apparently it is hilarious for others to watch and listen to me do this, it is best to do at the most inappropriate times, such as when there is a lull in the meal time conversation. It a makes me look grown up and sound like Daddy.

Drink from a bottle
Dad does this with the milk straight from the fridge. Mum doesn't need to do this because she has her own and shares it with me, but as soon as I am tall enough I will try the fridge milk.

Eat cake
While I survive on rice based products, home made rusks or fruit and green things (that I throw on the floor) Mummy is able to survive on mainly cake (or Thornton's Caramel Shortbreads). She is clever and makes me laugh, maybe I will be cleverer and funnier if I eat cake. Apparently cake tastes better if you go into town and have it with coffee and friends.

Hugs and Kiss
Quite simply you should do this as often as possible.

Mmm, maybe we need to rethink some of our model behaviour. Or not. Sod the self help books. Little Dude has an abundance of love from his parents and other relatives. He has many years to learn rights and wrong and social norms and graces. With a foundation of respect and fairness- I'm sure he will turn out fine.

(please note that this was a fluke moment captured from a video still, not modelled behaviour)

So lets hear it, what behaviours does everyone else model that self help books would stick a finger up too wag a finger at?
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