029 – Chapter 4, Part 8

Step 1: Specify Your Expectations to Your Child (continued)

Write Well-worded Success Statements (continued)

Sample Target Behavior Lists

To clarify this discussion, target behavior items suitable for the home program of a nine-year-old boy appear in the box below.

2011-04-12 - 01 - Sample target behaviors - JJ_resize

There are several things to point out about the list:

  1. The list includes seven items for this nine-year-old boy consistent with the rule of thumb of no more than one item per year of age. In practice, you may not choose to regiment your child’s day this thoroughly, unless the child’s behavior is very troubling. This number of items is included in this example simply to illustrate the wide variety of target behaviors that might be included.
  2. Item 3 consists of three parts, all related to school. This can be considered one item for counting purposes since the parents still only have one item to keep track of. All items are reflected on the school card (discussed in detail below), which folds right into the rest of the program.
  3. Since Item 4 specifies that staying friendly with Billy will be counted in 30-minute intervals, the exact number of successes possible will vary from day to day. Some days the children may be together very little while on other days, especially weekends, they may be together for many hours and so could earn lots more credits. That will be important to consider in determining the number of credits to be traded for specific rewards, discussed below.
  4. Item 5 indicates that Johnny is assigned to take the trash out only three days a week, illustrating how easily the program can be tailored to address a family’s specific requirements.
  5. Item 7 further illustrates the program’s flexibility. Johnny’s parents prefer him to be in bed at 8:30, but sometimes he really wants to stay up until 9:00 to complete a TV program. The parents recognize that they can increase their son’s interest in the home program by allowing him a choice of staying up a bit later or of earning more points by going to bed earlier. Of course if they really wanted him in bed at 8:30 each night, they would not include this variation, but they have observed that he has been responsible and seems to do fine the next day after staying up a bit later.


This entry was posted in Chapter 4. Bookmark the permalink.