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October 24, 2023

Gaining Family & Friends’ Support for Behavior Management

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Explore strategies to engage family and friends in consistent behavior management efforts. Learn the importance of a united front and how collaboration can enhance the effectiveness of behavioral interventions.

Consistency is key when implementing behavior support strategies. However, achieving consistency becomes a challenge when family and friends may not fully understand or support the plan. Engaging everyone involved in the child’s life is crucial to ensure that behavioral interventions are effective. This post sheds light on how to bring everyone on board.

The Importance of a United Front

When multiple people care for or interact with a child regularly, varied responses to behaviors can send mixed signals to the child. This inconsistency can hinder progress. Hence, ensuring everyone understands and follows the behavior support plan is essential.

mom and children behavior support strategy

Strategies to Engage Family and Friends

Education is Key

  • Understanding the Basics: Share resources or short training sessions on the principles of behavior management and why specific strategies are chosen.
  • Real-Life Impact: Share stories or examples of the positive changes you’ve observed since implementing the plan.

Open Communication Channels

  • Regular Check-ins: Set up times to discuss the child’s progress and address any concerns or questions.
  • Feedback Loop: Encourage family and friends to share their observations and experiences, making them feel involved and valued.
behavior support with extended family and friends

Collaborative Approach

  • Joint Sessions: If feasible, invite family members or close friends to therapy or consultation sessions to see strategies in action.
  • Customization: Recognize that every individual might have a unique approach. Discuss ways to adapt the strategies to fit different settings while maintaining consistency.

Addressing Concerns and Pushback

Resistance or lack of understanding from family or friends can be disheartening. Here’s how to navigate these challenges:

  • Empathize: Understand where their concerns stem from. It could be from a place of love, fear, or simply not understanding the process.
  • Educate: Reiterate the importance of consistency and provide evidence-based resources or expert opinions to validate the approach.
  • Re-evaluate: If a particular strategy is consistently difficult for someone to implement, discuss alternatives that maintain the behavior plan’s integrity.
behavior support plan with family

The Role of a BCBA in Engaging Family and Friends

  • Mediator: A BCBA can mediate discussions between parents and other stakeholders, offering a neutral and expert perspective.
  • Resource Provider: BCBAs can provide materials, training, or workshops tailored for family and friends.
  • Consistent Point of Contact: Having a BCBA as a regular point of contact can instill confidence and provide clarity when uncertainties arise.

An effective behavior support plan is only as strong as its weakest link. Ensuring that all stakeholders, including family and friends, are on board and consistent in their approach is crucial for the child’s progress. With open communication, education, and collaboration, it is possible to create an environment where the child thrives.

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