We recommend the use of the „Behavioral Modeling System™“ after the age of 4 , and there are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is that between the second and fourth year the children are in the so called “First Age Crisis” stage or “the Period of Negativism”. It is common for this period that children receive their first restrictions and they stubbornly start to oppose and try to impose their will. This period is perfectly normal and necessary for the child’s development, as during that time the child checks how far can he/she go with the parent’s authority. This is a different developmental stage – the child confronts and the parent has to “hold” the limits of behavior. For this reason it is good to wait until this stage ends and then count on the child’s collaboration.
The second reason is that at this age there are almost no activities the child can perform without the help of an adult. Although it looks like the child can perform a lot of activities alone, that is in fact not the case. The reason is that the child’s attention is rather short and they cannot focus for a long period of time on the same activity. Therefore, if the child needs help, give it to them, even if you think that the child can do it all alone.
The idea, which the „Behavioral Modeling System™“ is based on is the following : instead of pointing out the failures of the child, the accent transfers to his or her successes; that means the parents must acknowledge and encourage the desired behavior.
This principle is valid for every relationship – even with adults.
So there is no maximum age for applying the System, although it is more difficult to correct habits already created than to create new ones. The only difference is that with younger children the System is introduced in the form of a game, and with older children it is purely negotiation – agreement which in its nature is part of the relationship between adults.
The other difference is with regard to the rewards – with older children the reward can be in the form of additional time on the computer, for example. Usually, this is a pressing issue with the children at this age.
The use of the System does not mean avoiding the child’s manifestations that are typical for puberty, but it will contribute to place your relationship on the basis of equality, negotiation, and giving the right to choose, which is important for children at this age.
One set is enough and can be used for two or three children.
The stickers themselves cannot “seduce” the kids and they are not the main lever for change. They have symbolical meaning – they symbolize the parent’s recognition for the efforts the children make. The encouragement and observation of the efforts made are key factors when maintaining the motivation, especially when it comes to behaviors which themselves do not bring pleasure when performed.
Placing a sticker also works in another direction – it helps the parent to readjust and change their habit of observing the child’s failures instead of the child’s successes. Unfortunately, it comes somewhat naturally to us to fight when the child has failed to accomplish a task. However, when the child behaved the way we wanted, we tend to forget or do not consider it necessary to say “Thank you”, “I see you’ve made a big effort” or somehow encourage the child at all. Usually children who seek attention as if deliberately to provoke adults with “bad” behavior, prefer to receive “negative” attention in the form of scolding than no attention at all. And since change can be difficult for parents themselves, placing the stickers facilitates this task.
The encouragement or stimulation is vital for the development of children, for the development of independence and self-confidence and also for their motivation. One of the most influencing incentives is the parental approval, and children are especially sensitive to it. Everybody uses stimulus : If you’ve ever said “Well done” to your child, then you have stimulated approval. On the other hand, the stimulation through rewards is not such a simple thing and its inappropriate use can have the opposite – negative effect on the children’s behavior. Even a complement made the wrong way can discourage the child, although the intention of the parent was actually encouragement. So encouragement is a powerful tool for influencing when forming the desired behavior, and in order for the parents to be able to take advantage of it without any danger or harm, this System has been developed. The Video for Download and the Manual for Application show the basic principles of correct motivation – the mistakes that could be made and also the groups of behaviors which you can work on with this method.
Yes, we recommend the use of the System for children with hyperactivity. Its implementation brings to the achievement of very positive results as it helps structure the child’s activities and also structures the parental demands towards him. Since the System works on the principle of encouragement upon positive results, it provides the positive feedback much needed for the child. For a child with hyperactivity this is crucial, because the child usually realizes that they are not doing well. What is most important for children with hyperactivity, is that the parent must ensure the task is doable. It is a good idea to break down tasks into small steps, and only when the first step has been affirmed, the next task can be given.
The „Behavioral Modeling System™“ eliminates the two most common reasons which are responsible for the “bad” behavior in children : the demand for attention and the struggle for power. It turns a basic principle of the parental behavior upside down, and namely : we usually pay attention to the child’s behavior when it is negative, worse, in order to “fix” or “correct” it. When the child behaves well and does what we ask, we tend to accept it for being “normal”, “natural” behavior and we forget to notice it. This way the child receives mostly the so – called “negative attention”. So when the child has the unsatisfied need for attention, he/she tends to behave “badly”, just to get such attention, even if it is negative. The System allows parents to “readjust” and provide their children with the so – called “positive attention”. This means noticing the child’s successes and efforts, not emphasizing, and even ignoring the lack in the behavior which we attempt to cultivate. The second important reason why the child resists the parental demands is that they are not given enough freedom to make decisions alone, but someone else decides for them what they “have” to do. Since they have natural need for autonomy, often the only reason they refuse to do something is when someone orders them. Through this System, the children have the opportunity to decide whether to commit or not to a certain behavior, and this automatically eliminates the need for confrontation and solves the problem of struggle for power and dominance. On the other hand, sometimes the parents themselves are inconsistent with their demands. The System helps them focus better on the desired behaviors, and it also makes it easier for them to be consistent.
And last but not least, the System motivates children to work harder, when the performance of the behavior itself does not bring pleasure.
Essentially the “Behavioral Modeling System™” is a practical tool designed to instill positive habits in the children, as well as to correct some unacceptable behaviors. You can read more about the System HERE!
Giving money in exchange for performing a certain task is acceptable by itself, but the “Behavioral Modeling System™” is not based on that concept. For this reason, we do not recommend giving money when using the “Behavioral Modeling System™”.