I would like to start a subject related to behavioral related issues with children. I know that so many parent's struggle with being consistent with Rewards, Consequences, and Privileges.
My 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and my wife and I really had a tough time in the past 5 years. Last year we had to take her to the Children's Psychiatric ward at the local hospital twice. Eventually she was admitted to the Children's Long Term In-treatment program for 6 months in our state. That was very difficult, but it started a very important education process for my wife and myself.
While she was in the CLIP program, we had a very good parent therapist that worked with us weekly in regards to how we interact with our child and how to manage her behavior when she is home. Yes my wife and I went to marriage counseling, and got individual counseling while she was away to help us better interact with our child and each other. That side of the equation is very important. But what is equally important is what system we put in place to manage our child's behaviors when she comes home.
We worked with our therapist to mimic the system that she was utilizing at the treatment facility. We set up:
1: A behavior / level system - We set up 4 levels 1 - 4. We associated behaviors with each level. Ideal behaviors at level 1 and decreasing behaviors in the other 3 levels. We associated privileges with each level. The idea was that if my child was exhibiting appropriate behaviors, She would get the best privileges in regards to bedtime, electronics, etc... If her behavior dropped to inappropriate behaviors, level would drop to where that behavior was listed. At that point, her privileges also dropped which she did not like. This is a great system to facilitate consequences & privileges in a consistent manner.
2: A Rewards system - We listed certain tasks that we wanted our child to complete, like chores, homework, etc... We associated points to each task, More points for more difficult tasks. When our child would complete the task, she would get the points that could be later redeemed for prizes which could be, stuffed animal, dinner out with dad. ice cream night, stay 1 hour up later at night, and allowance, etc...
3: Be buck system - This is an immediate reward type system. If you catch your kid doing something note worthy, you immediately praise them by giving them a be-buck certificate which has different point levels on them They can then trade them in for points in the reward system.
These 3 systems have had a huge impact on my daughter's behavior. When she started coming home, we implemented this system in a manual mode, and we started to see the results. My child is now home and doing great. Getting A's & B's in middle school.
I am actually working with a web developer right now and creating an online version of this sytem that will take the complexity out of the 3 modules and have a major impact on many families.
Just wondering if anybody out there is struggling with behavioral related issues with their children, no matter how severe.