How can I teach Replacement Behavior?

How can I teach Replacement Behavior?

There are two things that should be considered when parents decide to teach a replacement behavior.

  1. Choosing the behavior for change
  2. Teaching methods (strategies)
  3. How do I choose replacement behaviours to teach?
  4. Choosing a Replacement Behavior starts with you identifying and defining the behavior for change in a measurable and observable terms.
  5. Observing appropriate behavior shown by typical children in the same environment
  6. Choosing a replacement behavior that will serve the same function as the behavior you want to change
  7. Must be age appropriate

Behavior: James hits Richard to take his toy

Replacement Behavior: James asks Richard for his toy

So rather than hitting, James is taught how to solicit for Richard’s toy. Many problem behaviors are as a result of limited social skills so teaching James the appropriate way to solicit sharing will be the replacement behavior


Before teaching a replacement behavior, you need to determine where the replacement behavior fits into your child’s skills level.


  1. A child may not engage or demonstrate an appropriate behavior if he does not know how
  2. if he knows how to in some environments but not in others
  3. or if he lacks the motivation.

Depending on the child’s skill level,

  • You may have to teach the child
  • Assist the child with some steps
  • Or negotiate with the child

In any of these instances, you must know what skills your child is lacking

  • Can my child demonstrate part of this skill?
  • Does my child need help with this skill?
  • Can he/she demonstrate the skill anywhere else?


This will give you an understanding into the child’s learning stage.


Have you decided on behaviors for change?

What is your child’s skills level?