Foster Care Handbook: Behavior - Action Speaks Louder Than Words (Chapter 10, page 1 of 1)

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Chapter 10

Let the Punishment Fit the Kid

It is very common for this population of children to seek negative attention. One of the secrets of success is to turn their energies toward positive activity so they get positive attention. It is a major shift in their thinking and in their behavior and it does not happen immediately.

We know that incentives are important, so these are a few incentives we use. I call them if-then's:

  • If you clean your room, then you can go swimming.
  • If you do your homework, then we can go out to eat


  • then you can use the computer.

Punishments are tougher, unless they are on the house rules:

  • Since you continue with the bad language, we'll forget shopping for you today.
  • Since you didn't do your chores, there's no movie.

We've had it where punishment just created more bad behavior. It's as if punishment was not acceptable. They typically like positive reinforcements and rewards.

Struggle is good. Without it we would not have any sense of accomplishment.

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