Use Positive Reinforcement!
I always find that adding big doses of positive reinforcement during a task or transition helps immensely. If you break down the “arrival from home” period (i.e. conduct a task analysis), you will see that there are many things involved:
- Getting off the bus or out of the car
- Entering the house
- Hanging up coat and backpack
- Maybe changing clothes
- Eating a snack
- Selecting an activity to do at home, or going with family to run errands.
My goal is to make my son feel happy and positive as soon as he gets off the bus.
I watch carefully, and as soon as his foot hits the pavement, I tag and give him a treat. In this picture, you can see that his foot is about to hit the ground, and I have my tagger ready. You can probably also see that he looks a bit stressed.
Some kids come home in the car. If so, tag the child as soon as his foot hits the pavement as he gets out of the car.
If your child walks home, tag him as soon as his foot hits the front walk or stoop of the house.
Tag even if he is screaming or upset. The point of the tag is to signal that he achieved the goal of getting off the bus or out of the car. This is the first tag point in a calming process.
As soon as my son is off the bus, I tag every few steps as he walks along the front walk into the house.
You can make this very obvious for your child!
Introduction to Module 2
The Focus Funnel
Tagging and Observation Practice
Transitions: School to Home
Video - Swimming Lesson
Q & A With Karen Pryor