IALAC: Take a Walk In Their Shoes

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."  from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Here's another technique we learned in my behavior class.  Not exactly a direct behavior method but a technique that can open your eyes to what your child (or another individual) is feeling like, living their day-to-day life.  Maybe their behaviors stem from the prevalence of negativity in their world.

IALAC stands for "I am lovable and capable."  This is a method of keeping track of the negative and positive moments in a person's day.  Like the Change the Label post I did, this is also a technique that you can do on ANYone... not just kids.  You can even do it on yourself!  Actually now that I think about it you could even do this on your dog!  Cool... I hadn't thought of that before.  Ok, "dog people" you can try this at home too!

Here is how it works:
Choose the individual.  I suggest using a child that you think has a tendency to act out.  You'll learn a lot about what it is like to be them in the course of this exercise.
note: You don't tell the individual anything about this experiment.  For all they know, today is just an ordinary day.

Get a piece of paper.
Write the acronym IALAC in the middle.
Keep the paper and a pencil handy all day.

Do this exercise for a whole day.  From the moment that the individual opens their eyes to the moment that they've fallen all the way asleep for the night.  The more you keep track, the more accurate the IALAC will be.
You can do it for a shorter period of time but doing it all day gives a much more complete picture.

Each time something negative happens to the individual you make a rip mark on the edge of the paper.  Then write a tiny note about what the rip represents next to that rip.
Examples of negative things in their day could be:

  1. Being told "No!" (or any version of that word) - make sure to include the "no's" even if you think that it was necessary for the situation.  Each "time-out" equals a "No" too (check out Amazing Alternatives to Time-Out)
  2. Being hurt by someone.
  3. Being insulted or put down by someone.
  4. Being rejected by a peer or other individual such as "You can't play with us."
  5. Finding out anything disappointing - like being told that they need to have nap instead of playing more (if that is something that disappoints them).
  6. Throwing a fit.
  7. Pouting, crankiness or frustration.

Each time something positive happens you draw a star on the paper.  Then write a tiny note about what the star represents next to it.
Examples of positive things in their day could be:
  1. Being told "Sure!" (or any version of that word).
  2. Being consoled by someone.
  3. Getting a complement or a specific praise from someone.
  4. Getting accepted by a peer or other individual such as, "Would you like to play with us?" (if that makes the individual happy).
  5. Finding out anything that makes them happy.  "Pizza for dinner! Yay!"
  6. Acknowledgement of a happy moment.  "Mommy, I love my _____."  or seeing them happily cuddling with their lovey on the couch.
  7. Playing happily or doing something that they love to do.

Now, the day is done.

Look at the paper.  How many stars?  How many rips?

***That piece of paper is that individual.***

Like I said above IALAC stands for "I am lovable and capable."  How "lovable and capable" do you think this child/person feels judging by the rips and stars on this IALAC that you just created?  If there are more rips than you thought there would be consider the options.  Are there some rips that can be changed for the better so that they can have a more positive day?

Here are some ways to say "yes" more often: Saying "YES!" to Kids.
Also, here are some ideas for how to improve their day by analyzing what they are trying to communicate to you through their negative behaviors: The WHY of Behaviors.

Other IALAC links:

Please share your thoughts on doing an IALAC!
Anyone can post a comment :) No need to sign in or sign up.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Multiple people have had issues entering comments on this blog.  If you want to comment but it won't let you then please comment at https://www.facebook.com/GotKiddosBlog

No comments:

Post a Comment