Friday, December 10, 2010

Have You Ever Been Stuck?

Grown male right foot (angle 1)Image via Wikipedia Have you ever gotten stuck?  Really stuck?  A friend of mine was recently describing a time when she got stuck.  It was embarrassing...but makes a funny story now.  She had been wearing her usual foot attire, flip flops, while shopping at an outdoor craft fair. Since it had been raining, by the time she arrived  at a restaurant for dinner, her feet were pretty muddy.  She decided to go to the restroom and rinse her feet off in the sink.  In the process, she managed to get her foot wedged between the faucet and the sink and before you can say, "Squeaky clean"... she's stuck...big time.  Of course it doesn't help that she is off balance and teetering on one foot while the other is stuck at an awkward angle in the sink.  Eventually someone came along and gve her the support she needed to get unstuck and luckily it didn't involve the fire department.

Many times we get stuck in a behavior rut that is much the same way.  We are uncomfortable, miserable even but because we lose our perspective, we often remain stuck in a holding pattern.  It takes a new perspective to get us moving and on a new path.

This week I've been attending the Third Annual Conference of the Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support.  The basic tenets of the conference are pretty simple, changing behavior through more effective teaching and through providing positive reinforcement.  It is an innovative way to get many of our students who are stuck in negative behavior patterns to change.  One of the challenges though is to get teachers and parents to change their approach as well.  Just as students become stuck in negative behavior, often the adults in their lives also become stuck in their comfortable but ineffective teaching or parenting styles.  Many times the focus doesn't need to be on changing the child, but instead on changing the adult's approach in order to change the child.  Sometimes we all need a little positive support to push us in the direction of getting unstuck.

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