Keeping a record of children’s behaviors with the behavior tracking chart
When a negative behavior is happening consistently, a useful way to figure out what you can do is to track how you respond, react, and manage your child’s behaviors. You can easily do this with the behavior tracking chart.
A behavior record will help you keep track of the concerning aspect of your child’s behavior. It will enable you to focus on what you have control over – yourself – while also reflecting on why your child is escalating.
Asking these five questions will help you effectively use the behavior tracking chart:
- Is my assessment of the behavior correct? It gives you a chance to put into perspective if the behavior is consistent as you think. It helps the parent investigate if the child really disobeys every instruction given? While investigating, some things to discover can be: what are the underlying needs of the child? How can you help them express or meet those underlying needs? How can you improve the relationship? How can you teach your child to problem solve?
- How am I adding to my child’s behaviors? It helps you monitor your own reaction and discover answers to the following: am I patient? Too rigid? Or too lax? Am I compromising on my own boundaries for my child? Am I modelling how to self-regulate?
- Is this a high-risk event? It helps you identify when and why the behavior occurs. This is useful while preparing in advance how you will manage difficult behaviors at certain times or situations in the day (e.g. court appointments, monitored visit with parents).
- What are the baseline behaviors? It allows you to assess baseline behaviors and therefore understand when the behavior is improving, worsening, or staying the same.
- Am I recognizing and keeping track of growth? It tells you when you have achieved your goal and helps you celebrate small victories along the way.
Here is the link to a printable PDF of the Selecting What To Observe sheet, Behavior Diary, Think Sheet and Behavior Graph.