There are ways for one to implement some PBIS best practices at home to help your child connect their home and school life and increase their positive behaviors in both settings.
At your home you can use the same expectations of the schools of Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. When talking to your child about the expectations at home use this language and fit all your rules under these expectations. For example “thank you for being RESPONSIBLE by cleaning up after dinner.” “Thank you for being SAFE by washing your hands in the bathroom.”
You can create area specific expectation posters for all the rooms of your house that set out what the specific expectations are for that setting. For each room you can create a poster that lays out what it means to be safe, respectful, and responsible in that room. For example, in the kitchen a sign could inform your child that to be safe they should ask for help and use all materials properly. For being responsible they should wash hands and clean up after they eat. For being respectful they should say please and thank you and wait until everyone is served before eating. There are other examples in parent resources. These posters can be created on the computer, on paper, or as a family art project.
Transitions Expectations Matrix:
For every transition that your child engages in at home, there should also be specific expectations laid out and contained within a expectations matrix. Transitions could include times like while eating, waking up in the morning, getting ready for bed, and doing homework. You should lay out in writing what it means to be safe, respectful, and responsible at each of these times (similar to how you do in different locations).
Teaching Behavioral Lessons:
One cannot assume individuals (adults or youth) will be able to automatically reach our behavior expectations of them. We must take time to teach these behavior expectations and how one can reach them. At home you should take time on a weekly basis (or more often if needed) and work with your children on how to meet your behavior expectations. Practicing these skills and behaviors in the setting is effective; for example practice how one should do homework without distractions. You can also use role playing and talk through “what if” scenarios with your child.
A crucial element of PBIS is acknowledging individuals who reach your behavioral expectations. All positive behaviors should be acknowledged verbally to encourage your child to continue to show those behaviors. One can also introduce tangible acknowledgements to help encourage your child to reach specific behavioral goals they are struggling with. One can set a certain behavioral expectation goal (cleaning up after dinner every day or remember to brush your teeth daily) and provide a tangible acknowledgement when this behavioral goal is reached. Some examples of tangible acknowledgements could include:
- Read a story to your child or have your child read to you.
- Stay up 10 minutes past bedtime.
- Cook his or her favorite dinner.
- Provide computer time at home or at the public library.
- Play a board game or complete a puzzle together.
- Color or draw with your child.
- Get out of having to do chores for a day.
- Watch his or her favorite movie.
- Help cook dinner.
- Go for a walk outside together.
- Send a positive note to your child’s teacher about the good job your child is doing at home.
- Or others
Links and Articles:
The Importance of Kindergarten Attendance (Lincoln Ave School)
When to Keep Your Child Home (Lincoln Ave School)