What is behaviour?

Behaviour is everything a person does or say either loud or silent. It can be observed and measured.


Why do children behave in certain ways?


It is because of how parents react to their behaviour. In other words, the consequence that is delivered right after the behaviour which can sometimes increase or decrease the chances of that behaviour happening again in future. It is dependent on the relationship between behaviour, consequences and the various situations that the behaviour has been allowed or punished in the past.


What is Consequence?

It is what happens right after the behaviour which can increase or decrease the probability that the behaviour will occur or not happen again in future. It is not easy to be a parent without falling into some parenting traps such as giving our children accidental rewards, being inconsistent, angry thereby increasing the intensity of a behaviour which unknowing to us have maintained most unwanted behaviours. For children with special needs, most parent’s beliefs and expectations have encouraged (reinforced) inappropriate or poor behaviour in their children by “blaming it on their disorders” (consequences) as a result, most children with special needs are not giving the opportunities they need to develop to their full potentials.


As challenging as this might be for parents, there are positive and effective strategies that help to promote and maintain good behaviours when parents use consequences for misbehaviour immediately, consistently and decisively. These include;

  • Goal Setting
  • Setting Expectations
  • Using Rewards(reinforcement).


We will be looking at these strategies in the coming weeks. Consider each of the strategies as an option you could use with your family.