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Positive Replacement Behavior


Behavior can be defined as the various ways by which an organism such as a human being or a system responds to its surroundings. It can be acquired or innate. A replacement behavior is the intended acceptable transformation that one acquires after undergoing a behavioral change. The target behavior is the present bad conduct or way of life that needs correction. Human behavior is largely determined by the nervous system and endocrine system and thus humans with more advanced systems are able to learn new behavioral responses faster. Behavior can be desired or undesired. This essay will focus on the positive methods applicable to ensure good behavior.

The human society, in general, has a well-defined set of rules referred to as social norms that dictate how a person lives with themselves and others. These norms are a scale to determine whether a behavior is normal, unusual and/or unacceptable. First step in replacing a behavior is patience.For example, in a home scenario, when a parent notices a certain child behavior, he/she has first to exercise patience before taking any action that might ruin their chances of correcting the behavior. Taking time in critical and creative thinking ensures that one understands the cause of the behavior and has a good approach plan that appeals to the child. When the time is right, the child is approached and informed of their behavior misgivings and the consequences.

Always strive to avoid supremacy struggles. Showing the child that you are giving them a choice and not dictating it to them makes them respect you more and become more responsive. The child will be motivated to change because it was their 'personal' choice to do so. Do not be openly angry or mad at a child when dealing with the problem, they will pick that trait from you since your own behavior influences theirs greatly. Being bossy doesn't work, but showing strong interest and building a good open relationship with the child can provide surprisingly good results as some children will even come to you to seek advice on any pressing issues affecting them. Maintaining regular, honest communication is a major milestone in reinforcing positive behavior.

Do not be too predictable. When a child misbehaves, he/she naturally expects your reaction. Make sure your response is unexpected. For example, the child may be performing poorly in class. Start by praising them for any recent success they may have had in class or an activity like sport, then inform them of the present situation and how they can improve because you believe they have the potential to do so. Believing in your child's ability to transform positively motivates them to change in an effort to show they are worthy of your praise. Be the first to note and offer praise when the child does anything good.

Lastly, set a time frame for the change to be effected and evaluated. The time frame should be realistic in that the child does not relax and forget about the agreed expected change. There may also be a reward for the child when he/she acquires the replacement behavior. The reward can be physical or verbal for example sweets, new bike, hugs and pats.

In conclusion, all children want parents that care about them, respect them and listen to their opinions. Applying the above mentioned techniques will go a long way in ensuring one succeeds in enforcing a positive behavior replacement.

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