Challenging Behaviors-Stripping

Here's a new one: A child gets mad at a situation and, in response, strips down to her underwear. What do you do?

First, let me tell you this is a child who is very typical in her development. She does have anger management issues, but is not suffering from any disabilities or developmental delays. She seems to be looking for new ways in dealing with problems every time they approach. Almost like she's thinking, "How will they react if I do this?"

So, yesterday's test was to strip! While they were outside! I get the questions, "What am I supposed to do?" Well, I am a big believer in natural consequences. I am also a big believer that the natural consequence mixed in with you staying so calm it's frustrating to them is an even better situation.

What is the natural consequence? You need to have your clothes on in order to play outside. Therefore, "you can put your clothes on, or you can go SIT inside until you decide to get your clothes on." When she refuses to put the clothes on, VERY CALMLY, pick up the clothes, take her by the hand, and WALK inside and place the clothes on the floor next to her. Tell her, "When you get your clothes on, you can go back outside and play. If you need help, you can ask me when you are ready." Then, get out some paperwork you need to do and, VERY CALMLY, begin working. Every once in a while look up and ask, "Are you ready yet? Do you need my help?" If there is no response, or the response is to yell at you, turn back to your work.

The appearance you are giving is, "You're tantrum isn't going to get in my way. I am still going to go on with what I need to do." If she begins playing with toys, VERY CALMLY, walk over, put them away, and reiterate, "You can't play with your clothes off. Once you get dressed, then you can play." Stick with it!

The first time, it may be over very quickly or it may drag out. It depends on the child. The second episode it will take a very long time. However, if you are consistent, they will know the consequence of their behavior. They will also know that they are the only one that is disrupted by it. So, they will go on to try other behavior to try and disrupt you. The more you let their behaviors only affect themself, the more they are going to think before trying something new.

No comments: