There an old song that says, “Accentuate the Positive”. Well that crooner may not have known it, but he was singing about behavior modification. Teen behavior modification whether it is part of a day school, or treatment center, part of a residential treatment program, or something you do on your own is all about changing that attitude of pain and teenage angst to a positive one.
The basic principle of teen behavior modification is to change negative or unwanted behavior by first identifying those behaviors and then using positive rather than negative reinforcement to reward the right behaviors and punish the bad. With many troubled teen’s techniques that reward the positive and build self-esteem and a positive self-image, have been proven to be far more effective then punishing negative behaviors.
One residential treatment program describes a 6 level approach to teen behavior modification that builds a positive attitude and helps get their students back on track.
This teen behavior modification program then builds on the successes the teen has achieved in the first few levels. As teens progress though subsequent levels they are taught greater personal responsibility and accountability, and through continued positive reinforcement learn strategies to help keep them on track when they return home.
Another interesting aspect to this teen behavior modification program is that teens on the upper levels who have developed the right attitude work with those on the lower levels in a role-reversal type of situation, which not only helps teens gain greater understanding of what their parents might have gone through, it also continues to raise their own positive self image as they succeed in helping and changing the negative attitudes of others.
While many parents believe that they do not have the patience to attempt this process of teen behavior modification it is urged that all parents give it a try. Many teens will respond to the unexpected being encouraged by the challenge. Based on what all parents know, a challenge is perhaps the best approach to teen behavior modification.