Several blogs ago, I mentioned the Process Model of Self-Control. Essentially, there are four steps to self-control, and we can intervene at any one of these steps.
Super Important Note: The earlier in the process we intervene, the easier it is to use self-control, and the more likely we’ll see success.
So where do we start? The first step in the model is the Situation.
The strategy here is to “Choose the Situation/Setting” that will lead to success.
Here is an example:
· Problem: A 4-year-old enters the classroom daily and immediately throws a tantrum. This is going on for at least 3 weeks.
Suggestion: Instead of having the student walk straight into the classroom, we “choose a situation or setting” that will prevent the tantrum. Thus, when the child enters the school building, another staff member/classroom assistant walks the child to a quiet room in the building and does some calming activities with the child for 10-15 minutes. The child does not even have the opportunity to throw a fit in the classroom because she never got to enter her class that day. And then, before the child is allowed back into class, the assistant reviews the classroom reds and greens. If the student can commit to doing the greens, she is able to join her friends and go back to class. (If she’s not ready, we need to plan some additional contingencies…) This routine is done daily for the next week or two until the habit of tantrums is broken and the child can commit to entering the classroom while doing only greens.