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By Diana Browning Wright, M.S.
Think of behavior as an attempt to get something or complain about something. Since behavior is a form of communication, you'll need to figure out your child's message. Is she trying to gain something - attention, an opportunity to move around? Is she trying escape or avoid something - doing an assignment she doesn't understand, sitting next to a child who annoys her? Once you understand what her behavior communicates about her needs, you can help her learn more appropriate behaviors.
After you've figured out the "why" of your child's behavior, these questions will help you develop a plan of action.
When parents, teachers, kids, administrators, and other school staff develop a behavior plan together, success is more likely. Each person needs to understand his role and communicate with others involved.
Everyone, not just your child, needs rewards to keep a plan going. Send thank you notes to your child's teacher or principal commenting on the improvements you see. Let them know they're making a difference and you appreciate their efforts!
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