All children, at one time or another, will demonstrate behaviours that we either want to see more of, or see less of. You may want to see your child complete more tasks like packing away their belongings, or you may want to reduce poor behaviour, such as tantrums in response to not getting what they want.
Behaviour change skills are strategies used to increase behaviours we want, and reduce behaviours we don’t want.
Positive reinforcement increases the frequency of a behaviour by providing a “rewarding” consequence (e.g. praise, a treat, quality time together). The timing of this is very important, especially with small children! Give the reward immediately and choose something that is motivating for your child.
Extinction involves reducing a behaviour by withholding previous reinforcement. When attention is reinforcing, ignore the unwanted behaviour, making sure that you continue to reinforce a replacement behaviour.
For example, if a parent ignores a child’s tantrum, the child will eventually stop tantruming. I know, it can feel like forever, and sometimes it’s a long time!
Beware the behavioural burst – a temporary increase in the behaviour you are trying to extinguish. DON’T GIVE UP!!
And most importantly, BE CONSISTENT!! The worst thing we can do when trying to change a behaviour is ignore this behaviour sometimes, and not others. For example, never give lollies to stop a tantrum after you’ve invested time ignoring them. This will actually make it harder to extinguish the behaviour, and is like starting from scratch all over again!
It can be hard to find the time and energy to tackle some of these difficult behaviours, so make sure you have a plan, and if need be, speak with one of our helpful therapist to get you started.
Children’s Therapy Centre is pleased to announce that Vuly Play, Australia’s leading manufacturer of trampolines and outdoor play equipment, has kindly donated an Ultra Medium Trampoline (valued at over $849) to benefit the children.
Our Children’s Therapy Centre team is very proud to have helped thousands of children over the past thirty years – and we are continually grateful for the vital community support we receive.
The new trampoline is now installed at the Kawana Children’s Therapy Centre, and will assist clients to develop useful skills and abilities including:
We are excited to incorporate our new trampoline into the children’s programs, and can’t wait to see the benefits this versatile equipment will provide.
Thank-you Vuly Play once again for your very generous donation!
By Debbie Blumel CEO
I overheard an intriguing conversation yesterday while standing at the photocopier in Reception. A Mum came to the counter and signed-in for her son’s appointment. Sarah, our friendly receptionist, welcomed her and mentioned that Mum was a bit early. “Yes”, laughed the Mum, “My son makes me arrive early so he has more time playing in the centre!” The little fella had wasted no time and was already very busy exploring the toys in the waiting room.
It made me think about how children see us. This boy is attending Children’s Therapy Centre to benefit from Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Physiotherapy funded by the NDIS. But he doesn’t know that – he doesn’t know what ‘therapy’ is.
What he sees are wonderful toys to feel and squish and taste and throw. His imagination turns those toys into anything or anyone he wants them to be – whatever he chooses, no ‘mistakes’. It’s all simple and uncomplicated. And he was choosing to have some additional unstructured time in the Children’s Therapy Centre and even organized his Mum get here early. I give him 10 out of 10 for achieving his goals!
But then it gets even better. A kind woman or man (therapist) appears and walks him into an Aladdin’s cave (therapy room), and devotes 45 minutes of attention solely to him. They play with coloured sand, pop-up toys, electronic gadgets, and pretty coloured toys that smell good enough to eat. It just doesn’t get any better!
“Please Mum, can we go to Children’s Therapy Centre early today so I have more time to play?”
Find out why our little visitors love coming here. Come check it out for yourself.