Keeping a behaviour journal can help us to understand more about a child’s behaviour, putting us in a better position to sustainably support them:
Note the tricky moments
Keeping a journal of when behaviour escalates can help us to identify patterns. Note as much detail as possible about what happened, where, who was present, what was happening before, what happened next etc.
What went well?
It is also helpful to keep a note of any time when things went especially well, or if there was the risk of behaviour escalating but this was avoided, as we can learn a lot from these moments too.
Keep going for a few days
Keep a record for a few days then consider the what, when, where and who of when things go right and wrong. This can often help us gain a better understanding of both how to take steps to avoid distressing behaviour and can also identify situations that your child finds actively calming or supportive.
Give your child a voice
Where possible the behaviour journal should be completed in the child’s words, either directly or with the support of an adult. This will help them to feel a sense of ownership and will also help them to understand that there are steps they can take to change how they feel and that this is not completely beyond their control.
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