Posts Tagged 'classes'

The difference between rewards and bribes

serious looking girl with ice cream

Unaltered image. Marcin Kargol, Flickr. CC license.

When working with parents of challenging children, the topic of rewards (or, in behavioral language, “positive reinforcement”) typically comes up early in consultation or treatment. Parents often express some concerns about rewarding their children for acting appropriately, and invariably I’m asked if providing rewards is simply a dressed-up version of bribing kids to behave well. This is a great question and I’m always happy to take the opportunity to explain the differences between rewards and bribery to wary caregivers.

First, let’s take a look at some definitions as they appear in the Oxford Dictionary:

  • bribe /brīb/ verb: to dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor by a gift of money or other inducement
  • re·ward /ri-ˈwȯrd/ verb: to give something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements; to show one’s appreciation of (an action or quality)

The differences should start to become clear simply from reading these two definitions. Consider the following three factors attempting to distinguish between these two very different methods of influencing behavior.

  1. Intent. Right off the bat, it’s clear that bribery has a negative connotation as it tends to be associated with questionable morals and/or conduct. For example, one might envision a sports referee being offered a monetary bribe in return for deliberately influencing the outcome of a game. So, the first way in which bribery differs from offering a reward is that it is usually intended to promote questionable or dishonest behavior, rather than encouraging “good” behaviors one might define as constructive, prosocial or fair.
  2. Timing. The second major way in which bribery differs from rewards, particularly as it pertains to changing child behavior, is in the timing of the delivery. While an effective reward is generally set up ahead of time (i.e., before the behavior has had the chance to occur), a bribe is offered in the middle of a challenging behavior episode, usually in the desperate hope that it will turn things around.
    Here’s a classic example. A parent takes a child to the grocery store. About halfway through the trip, the child starts to whine and complain. This quickly escalates into a full-blown tantrum. In an effort to stop this disruptive (and embarrassing) behavior, the parent offers to buy the child a donut at the bakery counter in return for better behavior for the rest of the shopping trip. The child stops crying, and the parent buys the child a donut (while making every effort to finish up the shopping as quickly as possible before another meltdown can occur!). In this instance, the parent delivered a bribe in exchange for improved behavior.
    Now, let’s consider the same scenario with the parent choosing to provide a reward instead of a bribe. Before the shopping trip, the parent tells the child that she will be able to select a treat from the bakery if she can stay seated in the cart and refrain from begging or throwing a tantrum while they shop together. (Note that the parent was very specific about the desired behavior, rather than simply telling the child to “be good”). If the child successfully demonstrates the desired behavior, the parent will reward the child with the bakery treat for a job well done. However, if the child is unsuccessful (e.g., does not remain seated or has a tantrum in the middle of the store), she will not receive a donut during this shopping trip. If she asks her parent if she can have the treat, the parent explains that the child she receives a reward when she behaves well in the store, and this time she did not behave well. The parent can then decide if the shopping trip will continue despite the undesirable behavior, if the child takes a consequence (e.g., time out in the car), or if shopping gets postponed for another time and everyone goes home. This decision will depend on the severity of the child’s behavior and the parent’s remaining reservoir of patience at the given time!
  1. Long-term impact on behavior. Both rewards and bribes have the power to influence child behavior. However, bribery tends to have only short-term positive effects and can often encourage undesirable patterns of behavior in the long run. In the aforementioned example, the donut bribe did result in an end to the tantrum in the grocery store. The parent might leave the store that day thinking that a donut was a small price to pay for a few moments of peace and a successfully completed shopping trip! However, the take-away message for the child is that a tantrum can lead to donut treats, while being helpful and cooperative in the store from the start has no positive consequences at all. The next time this child accompanies her parent to store, it is likely that a bribe may be necessary again (and it might take more than a donut to appease her). In other words, bribes can teach children to behave badly to get the things they want. A well-planned reward, on the other hand, encourages desirable behavior in children. In our example, the child earned a donut for displaying the “good” behavior the parent defined for her ahead of time. She earns nothing for a tantrum, which means that in the long run, she is more likely to display “good” behavior on shopping trips with mom or dad. Parents sometimes find it helpful to think of the use of rewards as a “contract” between themselves and the child. And for those concerned that their children will still be expecting treats at the grocery store until they leave for college, I offer the reassurance that rewards are typically faded out when desirable behaviors become habitual and they are no longer necessary to help shape the child’s behavior.

Do you have a strong-willed child? Are you ready to learn more about how to change his or her behavior for the better? Consider joining us for the The Challenging Child: Positive Parenting for Family Harmony, a six-session workshop where you can learn evidence-based strategies to help you reverse coercive cycles of child noncompliance, improve parent-child communication, and rediscover the things you love about your son or daughter.

– Sarah E. Baker, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Center for Human Development at Beaumont Health

Beaumont’s Big Brother – Big Sister Class

big brother holding baby brother

The Big Brother – Big Sister Class continues to be popular among families year after year. Beaumont’s Prenatal and Family Education department offers approximately one or two classes per month at Beaumont Royal Oak, Troy, and Grosse Pointe.

This lively, interactive class is designed for children ages 3 to 8 years old (although 9- and 10-year-old children are also welcome). During the class, your child will learn what new babies are like and how to prepare them for their new role as a big brother or big sister. We use dolls and an educational DVD to keep your child interested and engaged.

Your child will learn the day-to-day care that a new baby needs. Children also learn how they can help mom and dad when the new baby comes home. Safety is discussed and stressed to the young child. Hand hygiene is another component taught.

A parent joins the child for the class. As your child learns about his or her new baby sibling, we will share written information with you on how you can prepare your child for the new baby’s arrival and how to help the big sibling adjust to the newest member of the family. Techniques are discussed to help the sibling understand the normal range of emotions during this time of family transition and how to express these feelings based on their age.

The Big Brother – Big Sister Class should be taken approximately four weeks before your new baby arrives.

Click here for more information or to register for an upcoming session.

– Maribeth Baker, RN, LCCE, HBCE, Program Coordinator, Beaumont Health Prenatal and Family Education

Yoga Moms prenatal yoga

Pregnant mom doing yoga meditation

Cropped image. Randy Pantouw, Flickr. CC license.

In honor of National Yoga Month, we are highlighting Beaumont’s prenatal yoga program, Yoga Moms.

If you’re expecting a baby, prenatal yoga can be a great way to relax, stay fit and prepare for birth. Studies have suggested that prenatal yoga may:

  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Decrease swelling
  • Encourage socialization and support with other expectant moms
  • Increase strength and flexibility of the muscles needed for birth
  • Decrease low back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
  • Decrease the risk of pregnancy induced hypertension

Beaumont’s Community Health Education Department offers Yoga Moms at SOLA Life and Fitness in Rochester Hills and the Beverly Hills Club in Southfield. The six-week class series is taught by certified yoga instructors. Classes include breathing, gentle stretching, postures and relaxation. The class is recommended for any stage of pregnancy, with physician approval.

For more information or to register, visit Yoga Moms or call 800-633-7377.

Disciplining a toddler

Toddler girl throwing a tantrum

Unaltered image. Citril, Flickr. CC license.

Being the parent of a toddler can be fun at times, but it’s definitely challenging sometimes, too. Toddlers often cause concern and frustration for their parents through their behaviors like biting, hitting, pulling hair, being defiant, using bad language, and throwing temper tantrums. How do you deal with these behaviors? Are they too young to discipline and how do you go about doing that for such young children?

Beaumont’s Beginning Discipline – The Toddler Years class can help parents dealing with the wonderful but sometimes difficult toddler years. You’ll learn where toddlers are at developmentally and why their behaviors make sense within that context. You’ll also get suggestions for how to help them learn to manage their emotions and act more appropriately. Discipline means to teach, not to punish. Come join us at Beaumont’s Toddler Discipline class and learn how to better understand your toddler and how to help them learn positive behaviors.

Register for an upcoming class.

Lil’ Sprouts: A Parent/Child Educational Program

Offered by the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders, Lil’ Sprouts is a 10-week course designed for parents/caregivers with their children. The goal of this program is to teach parents/caregivers how to increase speech and language within their home environment. Children enrolled may be developing at a normal/average rate or may be delayed in speech and language development. Children are between the ages of 18 months and 2½ years. Due to limited space, we request that siblings do not attend the Lil’ Sprout sessions.

Session Format

  • We meet for 10 consecutive Tuesdays from 5:00 – 5:50 p.m.
  • The first 25 minutes of each session: We discuss our topic and teach you and your child how to complete a task related to our topic.
  • The next 10 minutes are spent at a table for a snack. During snack time, the clinician will help the children use word approximations, sign language, or simple words to request for food.
  • The final 10 minutes: We do a circle time activity and sing a song related to our weekly topic.

Each week your family is given a handout with home program ideas and ways for you to increase your child’s speech and language development at home. Please feel free to interact with other families in the group. This is a time to find out what works for other families and try ideas out on your own!

Summer Term Schedule

  • Week 1: First Day! Speech and Sound Development and Sign Language
  • Week 2: The Development of Receptive Language Skills (Part 1 of 2)
  • Week 3: The Development of Receptive Language Skills (Part 2 of 2)
  • Week 4: The Development of Expressive Language Skills (Part 1 of 2)
  • Week 5: The Development of Expressive Language Skills (Part 2 of 2)
  • Week 6: The Interaction of Play Skills and Communication
  • Week 7: The Interaction of Sensory Skills and Communication
  • Week 8: The Interaction of Oral Motor Skills and Communication
  • Week 9: Idea and Toy Exchange
  • Week 10: Last Day! Wrap Up and Review and Recommendations

Enrollment Information

  • The summer term runs June 16 – Aug. 18, 2015.
  • Sessions will be held at the Beaumont Health Center in Royal Oak and the Beaumont Medical Office Building in West Bloomfield. Please contact one of the locations if youare interested in enrolling for the summer term.
    • Royal Oak: (248) 655-5975
    • West Bloomfield: (248) 855-4480
  • We will be taking payments during the first class. If you need to set up a payment plan, we will do so during the first visit. There are no refunds for this group program.

Introducing Beaumont’s New Natural Birth Workshop

Dad holding mom's hands over birthing ball

Cropped image. Sonya Green, CC License.

Beaumont’s Community Health Education Department is happy to announce a new class: Natural Birth Workshop.

This class was developed in response to feedback from expectant families who expressed an increased interest in birthing in a more natural manner, with little or no medical intervention, while maintaining the comfort and safety of a hospital setting.

The goal of Beaumont’s Natural Birth Workshop is to provide mom and her support person with the knowledge and skills needed for a natural birth experience. The workshop will increase mom’s confidence and assist her in developing a personal plan for her baby’s birth.

This is a “hands-on” class where practice will include positioning, breathing for labor and birth, and learning a variety of comfort measures, such as ways to handle labor challenges. The expectant mom’s labor partner will learn how he/she can support mom and the natural birth process. The goal is to help mom work with her body to increase comfort, enhance the birth process, and decrease or eliminate the need for pain medications.

During the workshop, moms will receive information on natural birth, post-partum care/newborn baby care and breastfeeding information. Expectant parents will also receive a natural birth book and a web-based resource for further learning and review.

The workshop is taught by a registered nurse/ childbirth educator. Mom and her support person should attend this Natural Birth Workshop together and plan to complete it about 4–6 weeks before baby’s due date.

Workshops are scheduled in two formats: One full Saturday session or three weeknight sessions on consecutive weeks. The class fee for mom and support person is $120 and includes all materials.

A follow-up session of the workshop is held 4–8 weeks after baby is born. The new family, including baby, is invited to attend a Beyond Birth class where postpartum adjustment, time and priorities, infant massage, and parenting myths and realities will be discussed. The fee for this class is included in the cost of the Natural Birth Workshop.

For dates, times, locations and registration, visit us online or call (800) 633-7377.

Please contact Mary Anne Kenerson, RN, mkenerson@beaumont.edu, (248) 273-6323 with any questions about this class.

We hope to see you in one of our Natural Birth Workshops very soon!

– Mary Anne Kenerson, RN, Coordinator, Community Health Education, Beaumont Health System

Meet the Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation

Girl on floor puzzle holding a letter.

Floor puzzles offer great visual, sensory and motor skill development.

Therapy services at the Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation have become very diverse. Not only has our program grown geographically (we now have clinics in Royal Oak, West Bloomfield and Grosse Pointe), but we’ve broadened our specialty services and our scope of care.

Overview
We provide therapy for children with long-term rehabilitation needs, but we’re focused on shorter bursts of therapy–capturing a child’s key developmental times, providing therapy, and then taking a break until they are ready to resume again. Often children are transitioned into other programs either within our clinic or within the community, which provides for intensive and successful therapy and better long-term results. We also provide therapy for children with more short-term needs where a brief course of treatment is provided and they rarely need to come back.

Therapist holding a child on foam slide.

In our sensory rooms, children are able to participate in therapy on swings, padded slides, large cloud pillows, and ball pits.

Services Offered
Our patients come to us with neurological, orthopedic, sensory and developmental needs. We’re trained to work with a large range of diagnoses and ages (birth–18). In addition to offering groups for children with special needs, we also offer groups for children without a diagnosis. For example, we offer very successful handwriting groups for children who are struggling with all aspects of handwriting and letter formation.

We also offer group programs which help to enhance therapy goals, and/or offer therapeutic activities for children who may not need intensive therapy. We offer adapted dance, martial arts, sports groups; as well as sensory integration, feeding, social, peer support and vision groups.

Our programs fall under four main therapy areas:

  • Occupational: Focus on fine motor, arm strength and movement, dressing, eating, vision, sensory and feeding (picky eaters, babies with latching or swallowing difficulties).
  • Physical: Focus on gross motor, leg strength and movement, walking, head and neck movement and position
  • Speech Therapy: Language skills (expressive, receptive, articulation)
  • Social Work: Family and patient coping skills, emotional support, assist with insurance and community assistance.
Child doing therapy using a universal exercise unit.

Every clinic has a universal exercise unit that helps children isolate muscles for strengthening and they can stand inside and experience standing and jumping with the help of bungee cords.

Getting Help
If you have a concern about your child’s development or recovery from an injury, please talk to his/her physician about a referral to therapy. While children all develop or recover from an injury at a different pace, even siblings, don’t disregard concerns you have. A parent’s instinct is important and your pediatrician can help you determine the best plan. We can evaluate and offer suggestions for ongoing treatment or a program for home. For more information, visit us online.

Have a wonderful summer; this is a great time to develop motor, sensory and language skills by just getting outside and playing with your children.

– Debbie Adsit, OTRL, is the Supervisor, Pediatric Rehabilitation at the  Beaumont Center for Children’s Rehabilitation. She can be reached at (248) 655-5687.

 

 

 


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