The importance of preparing an action plan
In certain cases, taking the time to stop and analyze a situation can be important. Despite the application of positive discipline principles and countless efforts on your part, sometimes, that just isn’t enough. When you reach that point, you must take a step back and study the situation from every angle to establish an action plan.
One of the principles that I recommend in positive discipline is to “act instead of react” when facing different types of behaviors. When you just can’t seem to find a way out of a situation, when you feel like there are no solutions, very often, your emotions take over. That is precisely when you begin to “react”. When we react to a situation, we tend to lean towards excessive consequences and consistency is tossed out the door. A vicious circle of negative interventions takes over, one that will do nothing to improve the situation.
When you feel you have reached the point of no return, I recommend that you STOP. Assess the CURRENT situation and the DESIRED situation. Write down all the methods you have used that have led to positive results, if any. Once this is done, write down a few things you could try AS OF NOW. Select only a few to avoid spreading yourself thin. After a few weeks, evaluate the results you have reached using the selected methods. Keep in mind that it may take a MINIIMUM OF 21 DAYS before you see a change…sometimes longer. Be CONSISTENT in your interventions.
Reminder: when you evaluate the situation, ask yourself if you have respected the step-by-step approach for your interventions. You may have to go back to the first level to guarantee you start off on the right foot.
Positive reinforcement→Intentionally ignoring the behavior→Increasing collaboration→More coercitive method
Very often, the first two steps will suffice for eliminating negative behavior, but you may have to start over again from square 1.
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator