Behavior management refers to approaches, techniques or strategies used in modifying the conducts or actions of an individual. Behavior management usually aims at changing the behavior of an individual by helping the person to develop pro-social conducts and life skills. According to McIntyre (2011), an effective behavior management system should be capable of maintaining order as well as promoting specific standards of conduct amongst individuals.
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The major components of effective behavior management include identification, function, features, consequences and reward system. Identification concerns recognition of the behaviors to modify as well as the most appropriate strategies to use in modifying those behaviors. Function refers to the ability of a behavior management system to effectively modify the undesired behavior by providing a conducive learning environment that promotes behavioral change.
Features refer to various activities that are used as a means for inculcating or infusing desirable conducts and values within the specified learning environment. Features of an effective behavior management system includes clear and open communications, increased involvement of the child in physical activities such as games and sports that target behavior change and pro-social activities such as group events that help in increasing social interactions. Features also include clearly stated rules and regulations and procedures that provide guidelines for the child.
Consequences are positive and negative results of a conduct, behavior or action. An effective behavior management system must have clearly stated consequences, for instance, irresponsive behaviors such as stealing another child’s pen often leads to punishment by the teacher. According to Dunlap (2009), children often tend to avoid those conducts that may lead to negative consequences such as pain or injury.
Lastly, reward systems refer to strategies that aim at recompensing children for involvement in pro-social behaviors. Reward systems are usually used to motivate children to develop good conducts while at the same time discouraging bad behaviors through punishments. Reward systems may involve provision of physical materials such as gifts or use of non-material strategies such as praising and approvals. Additionally, an effective behavior management should be well structure and planned, focus on positives, incorporate high levels of involvement of the learner and capable of embracing tolerance.