What To Do First When Changing Teenager’s Behavior–Part II

This is part II of a three part series on What To Do First When Changing
Teenager’s Behavior. Please read the first article before tackling this

What To Do First When Changing Teen’s Behaviors-Part II

Here are some examples to help out.

Positive (+) Behaviors Negative (-) Behaviors

Talks Quietly Yelling

Cleans room Doesn’t clean room

Cooperates Doesn’t obey (Defiance)

Listens Ignore me or talks back

Acknowledges what I say Disrespectful (might be too
general, So…

break it down)
-Talks with respectful tone
-Talks to communicate
-Talks genuinely

Sits quietly Runs around too much (Hyper)

Tells the truth Lies

Communicates clearly Verbally manipulates (too
-Talks about things
-Articulates what’s really
on his or her mind
-Means what is said

Communicates assertively Whines

-Uses a normal or pleasant
tone of voice

Compliments others Critical of others

-Accepts others’ viewpoints

Studies Plays too many electronic games

-Spends time with family members

Earns good grades Poor grades

Respects property Destroys things

-Treats things nicely
-Repairs broken objects

Uses words to solve conflicts Physical fighting

-Talks in a calm voice
-Uses reasoning vs. acting out

Waits, thinks, then behaves Impulsivity

Stays focused Distractible

Uses civilized language Curses
Initiates things on own Lazy (might be too general)

-Stays organized
-Finishes projects
-Stays focused
-Initiates activity

Manages mood Temper tantrums

-Gives self a time out
-Stays calmer when stressed

Thinks of others first Selfish

Does things quicker Dawdling

Tells the truth Isn’t trustworthy

(too general)

-Does what he or she says
will be done

Comes home on time Ignores curfews

These are some of the many complaints and categories I hear about from parents. There are a lot more categories and infinitely more negative behaviors to be put in the right column. All have a positive opposite variant that goes in the left column.
Now, what do you do with “the list?” First, we’re mostly going to
work with the list on the left side. Rank order the list; that is, think
about which of these positive behaviors you most want or is most important. Or, you can look at the list on the right side and pick those negative behaviors that you really want to “go away.” Either will tell you which of the many behaviors in either column are most important. Figure out which behavior is number one and rank it accordingly (put a “1” next to it…). Choose another to be number two; that is, which behavior is not quite as important as the number one behavior, but presumably is still important enough to be number two. Work your way down the page, creating a ranked or prioritized list, ending with the positive behavior that is still positive, but relatively speaking, least important.
In the next article, I’ll explain more about this process..
–Dr. Griggs


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