In schools, psycho-education is a classroom behavior management method that aims at training teachers and students about children's emotional and behavioral problems. Psycho-educational teachers believe that socio-emotional growth happens when children understand the role that emotions play in their school difficulties. Psycho-educational theory and methods include cognitive (thinking), affective (feelings), and behavior aspects.
This is an excerpt from my free ebook, “Persuasive Discipline: Using Power Messages and
Suggestions to Influence Children Toward Positive Behavior.” To download this
book, click on the link at the bottom of this post.
Persuasion Technique 1: Assume that What You Want is True
If you talk and act as if what you want is true, your child
will believe you. When we assume something, we are sending the message to the
child that he or she already wants to do what we are requesting; for example,
asking, “Do you want carrots or celery?” assumes that the child wants and will
eat one of these two vegetables.
Persuasion Technique 2: Use Positive Directions
When we use positive directions, we get higher compliance
than when we use negative directions. Negative directions tell children what
not to do; “Don’t make noises” or “Don’t hit your little brother” are examples
of negative directions. On the other hand, positive directions tell children
what they need to do to comply. Work in changing the negative directions you give
children into positive directions. Shapiro (1994) recommends that we write down
the negative directions we typically say in one column, and then, in a second
column, we change these statements into directions that tell the child in a
specific way what he or she should be doing instead. Always describe what you
want in positive terms; for example, “Talk in a quiet voice” rather than “Stop
Persuasion Technique 3: Point Out an Acceptable Alternative
Positive directions guide children toward a more appropriate
behavior or in the direction of an alternative behavior. Shapiro provides the
following examples, “Making noises at the table disturbs other people during
dinner. If you need to make noises, you can excuse yourself from the table and
go outside for five minutes,” and “When you hit your little brother, you will
have to go to time-out. Try hitting this pillow when you feel angry.” According
to Schaefer (1994), when we point out an acceptable alternative, the child will
be more likely to change the inappropriate behavior because he knows what he
should do in addition to what not to do.
Persuasion Technique 4: Use More “Start” Messages and Fewer
It is easier to start doing something than to stop doing
something. Apply this principle when you discipline children; instead of
telling the child what to stop doing, tell the child what to start doing. For
example, we can turn a statement like, “Stop playing with that toy” into
“Please, hand me the toy.” A teacher or parent skilled in persuasive discipline
is able to suggest alternative ways of behaving rather than constantly saying,
“No” or “Stop that.”
Schaefer, C. E. (1994). How
to influence children. A handbook of practical child guidance skills (Second
Edition). Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson.
Shapiro, L. E. (1994). Tricks
of the trade: 101 psychological techniques to help children grow and change. King
of Prussia, PA: Center for Applied Psychology.
To download free
Persuasive Discipline: Using Power Messages and Suggestions to Influence
Children Toward Positive Behavior, just click here.