Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekend "Vacation"

Hello! I just wanted to post quickly to provide a quick update and "preview" my upcoming trip.

For the last week I have been taking data to measure the ratio of positive to negative interactions I am having with each of my two children. I've taken data for an hour most days, concentrating on times of day that have historically been the most difficult. I have to admit, initially I did reach my goal of 20 positive interactions with each child in an hour. However, I did not initially reach my goal of having 8 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction (negative being anytime I redirected or corrected their behavior). I persisted and got better at ignoring inconsequential behaviors that just didn't need to be addressed (and better than reached my goal)! I noticed that as I've worked on this, our home has become a more positive place. I love that some of the difficult times of the day (such as dinner preparation time) became a happy time, full of recognizing the good actions of my children. And what do you know? It's gotten easier and easier to do! I am pleased! It is disappointing that as parents, sometimes we slide into behaviors that we know are not effective and efficient (such as paying too much attention to negative behaviors and not enough attention to positive behaviors). However, I'm confident that the more effort we put in, the more automatic it will become.

I've also taken some good baseline data on some troubling behaviors. The data are not complete so I'll report on those later. For now, just know that I'm taking it and I'll get back to you!

Later this week I'm heading out to the Association for Behavior Analysis International Convention in Phoenix, AZ. It is an absolute data-geek fest and I eagerly look forward to it every year. I'll report back on new information I take in while I'm there! In the meantime, happy data collecting!