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If you thought that it was only your children who had bad behavior, then think again. This is a problem faced by parents all around the world. Most parents are stumped, and don't know how to control their children. If you too are in the same position, then fret not, because there are always a few behavior modification strategies that you can try. Before we continue, I would like to point out that these strategies can be used on boyfriends, girlfriends, friend's girlfriends, and parents as well. Yes, you got that right. Appropriate usage of these strategies can help you mold a better environment in your house.

Techniques for behavior modification basically work at reducing the 'bad' behavior with the help of positive or negative reinforcements and inducing 'good' behavior instead. However, before we get to the strategies, you need to know that the most you can do here is influence, not control. If you think that these techniques will help you control the person, you are wrong. You will simply have tremendous influence on them.

Behavior Modification Techniques
  • Carrot Stick Approach: In this strategy a 'treat' is given for good behavior. On the other hand, if the behavior is bad, the 'treat' is taken away. It is a good technique for children. This strategy is used a lot in nurseries and kindergartens, and by parents too.
  • Rewards and Recognition: This is a positive reinforcement method. It works well for kids and boyfriends. In this strategy whenever there is good behavior, a reward is given. It could be something that a person really wants. As such, you can keep it like, if they behave well, they get the reward. It works as an incentive.
  • Slash and Stick Method: This is a completely negative reinforcement strategy for behavior modification. In this strategy a punishment is given for bad behavior. This strategy is used, especially, when the behavior is mostly bad. As such, when they don't get punished, they take it as a reward, making it an incentive for good behavior.
However, you cannot proceed with behavior change strategies without taking a few initial steps. These steps form the foundation of modification strategies. The success or failure of your chosen strategy depends on your ability to take these steps.

Steps for Behavior Modification

Step 1
The first thing you need to do is to admit the problem. Face the reality and admit that you have a problem. Going into denial and avoiding or covering up the problems will not help you solve it. The problem exists, and you need to face it and deal with it. No matter how difficult it may seem, no matter how bad you may feel trying to modify the behavior, you will have to do it, for the sake of the relationship and the person.

Step 2
Be objective. When observing a person's behavior, be objective about it. Don't let your knowledge about their nature and mood fog your observation that their behavior is wrong. Make mental notes of the patterns that are followed. Each person has a behavioral pattern. What is the pattern, when does he/she behave and how? It is important for you to have a good idea about that. It is also important to understand the psychology of behavior to help you be as objective as you can.

Step 3
Get ready to be tested. It is human nature to test any boundaries or rules that are put on us. It is pretty much the reason why we are such an advanced species. Nonetheless, in this case do not let the limits be pushed. Stay firm and strong. Do not get agitated or angry. Just be as nonchalant about it as you can. 'No means NO'. All of us look at each other for guidance and support. So is the case with your loved one. Be there for them and help them be the way you want them to be. Don't compromise, but help and guide.

These strategies work most of the time. However, how long they take to work varies from person to person. Do not feel lost in the way. Be determined and carry it through till you get the desired results.