So let’s imagine a typical day for super mums, busy! busy!! busy!!! but no matter how busy and stressful our day has been, we always want to max out on time with our children. One way to do this, is to do or check their homework. Homework time can be quality time but it is also involves loads of instructions which can be stressful.
Now let’s imagine a typical day for our children, they get instructions from teachers, drama from peers and nagging from nannies. After all this mum now wants to come put her own wahala on top. Haba!
Often times when this situation occurs there is a battle of wills between mum and child, mum wants her child to do the instruction, child is tired and wants mum to leave them alone, so they may become defiant and refuse to do work.
For children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, mum refusing to give them their favourite treats the next day won’t snap them out of their defiant mood, and this can be really frustrating and confusing for mum.
Here is an awesome way to avoid the plenty wahala and make learning fun again. Reinforce the child. Reinforcing a child means to present materials that increases the likelihood of the child repeating those appropriate behaviours again.
This way, you create a situation where your children would be excited to do homework with you and would even want to do so much more no matter what.
The picture above is an askotks.com reinforcer kit. It’s a box of toys like bubbles, balloons, things that light up, things that move and pretty much anything that’ll excite your little girl or boy. Here’s how to use a reinforce kits in 3 easy steps. Pay attention to the dialogue below between a mother and her child.
Mum: Calls Child “Junior, bring your bag”
Child: (he brings his bag)
Mum: (surprised at how quickly he answered, grabs the box of toys and gives him the spider to play with while she looks for the homework)
Child: (gets really excited)
Mum: (collects reinforce – that’s the toy) “show me your homework.”
Junior: (brings it out)
Mum: “Wow! Good boy” (super impressed, mum also gives him a high five as they get ready to start)
Mum: “Let’s write A”
Junior: “writes A or attempts to”
Mum: “That my baby!” (gives him the spinning top for a few seconds)
Now there’s lots more to write, so mum asks him to do the next two before giving him another exciting toy, then the next three and gradually gets him to do more of the work with less of the toys. However, at this point Junior is keen to do the work and sees it as a serious but fun activity with mum. This has happened because every time Junior demonstrates appropriate behaviour (follows mum’s instruction), mum presents materials that increases his motivation to follow her next instruction. Mum has been reinforcing Junior.
If mum can continue this every evening, always bringing out something new and motivating from the box, always showing exaggerated but genuine excitement, Junior will start to look forward to homework time with mum. Don’t be surprised when with or without toys, Junior starts calling mum to ask if she will be home in time for homework!
These kits are strategic tools used to build positive relationships with things that could otherwise be very stressful. It is just a starting point which most children will grow out of but is essential to teaching children you don’t have to be flogged or threatened to get your work done. This is also a good life lesson they can take into adulthood; finding the joy in the things you do, instead of been driven by fear of getting caught.
The asktoks.com team have made a couple of videos showing our parents and therapists how to use reinforce kits, showing you how to deal with troubling behaviours and generally giving you loads more tips and hints on home teaching. Watch the videos, ask questions, leave comments and join the conversation by following us on Facebook and Instagram @asktoks.
Try a tailor made reinforcer kit today. Call 0809116582 or post a message on facebook, Instagram or twitter @asktoks.