Promoting Positive Behaviors

Ever wonder how to promote positive behavior in your child? At the Children’s Workshop, we practice the PBIS Model!  (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports).  PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture and needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success.  Additionally, by using a positive approach at home with your child, you are extending these opportunities for your children. Miss Heather discussed this topic on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!

Why is it so important to teach children appropriate, positive behaviors?

In the past, discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research shows that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective.  Instead, introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior has proven to be successful and effective. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding children for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

What Does PBIS Look Like at School?

PBIS models are used across the country in various types of school settings from Preschool through grade 12.  All models have a universal approach and set of behavior values and expectations.  For example, at the Children’s Workshop, our values and behavioral expectations are:

  • We are Safe
  • We are Kind
  • We do our Best
  • We Play to Learn

This model of expectations allows teachers to provide children with opportunities to learn appropriate behaviors as well as address any challenges in behavior that may occur in the classroom.  It is our goal for children to be safe, respectful and responsible life-long learners in our classroom environment and within their communities.

In addition to implementing these values, schools provide children with opportunities to learn and practice appropriate behaviors, as well as provide children with multiple strategies to help support positive behavior.  Strategies include using visual tools and reading stories about social and emotional development.   

Strategies and Steps for Home

  • 1. Decide what behaviors you want to change
  • 2. Decide how you want that behavior to change
  • 3. Use science to change that behavior
  •     a. Develop a theory about why you think the behavior is occurring
  •     b. Test your theory
  • 4. Use supports that have been tested and proven to work
  •     a. Teach new skills to get the same results
  •     b. Change environments and daily routines
  •     c. Reward positive behaviors


This article was written by Heather Grocott, Director of Education and Training at The Children’s Workshop in Lincoln, RI.