Techniques for working with young children

Please forward this error screen to 139. Every step you take, is a step away from where you used to be. Children and young people should always be rewarded for techniques for working with young children positive behaviour. Whatever method is used, it should be used to encourage them.

Attention should be given to them for something positive they have done. It is therefore important to acknowledge that they are pleasing you. In other words, let them know they have done well. This will help to encourage further desired behaviours. Working towards a reward is better than an immediate reward like giving them a sweet.

Behaviour charts have been used in schools for many years, but are appropriate in lots of other settings including the home. They are best for children under twelve years of age, but a chart can be used with older young people as long as it is interesting enough in design and the young person is not embarrassed by it. The chart should be pinned to a wall, fridge or similar accessible place or it may be on a computer screen. The most common chart used is the star chart. The drawback of the star chart is that is loses its attraction fairly quickly. A better method is one that has something to aim for, for example, a snakes and ladders board.

The ladders can be used for sustained success and the snakes can be used for particularly unacceptable behaviour. A popular chart for younger girls is one where they add spots to a ladybird and a popular chart for boys is one where they add carriages to a train or perhaps a stick-on rocket moving in steps towards the moon. This helps them feel they have ownership of it. Don’t make the steps towards their main goal too difficult. Keep the steps small and achievable.

Don’t allow too many ‘stars’ in a day as this can make the exercise unrewarding. The chart is meant to be a motivator so always ensure the emphasis is on rewarding the desired behaviours. Make sure that it does not become a punishment chart. Certain types of charts become stale, for example a star chart, so keep the system fresh. Use different ideas and different styles of chart. Ring the changes when it looks like the child is beginning to tire of their current chart. The child should be involved in this decision.