What is Behavior Management?

To understand behavior management, it is important to first understand behavior. Children typicallyBehavior Management engage in various behaviors for one of three reasons:

  • To get access to something
  • To get out of something
  • To get attention

We call these functions of behavior! These are important because in order to manage the behavior, we need to be able to identify the function of the behavior (meaning: why are they doing what they are doing?) What behavior management does is help kids learn to achieve and communicate what they want in an adaptive way.

Behavior is communicating something to us and the behavior will continue until the message is heard. You can modify behavior to either decrease an action (wetting the bed) or increase an action (cleaning their room).

Behavior management is a technique that involves practical applications and tools to help children learn new appropriate behaviors and get rid of maladaptive behaviors. Identifying antecedents and consequences of the behavior (ABC’s), planned ignoring, reinforcement of appropriate behaviors with equivalent functioning, modeling, and functional communication training are all strategies that are used to help increase more appropriate behaviors and decrease negative behaviors. This strategy can be implemented individually by a trained therapist, social worker or in group settings. It can also vary in its intensity, as well.

Working on behavior once per week may be sufficient for some, while others may need a little bit of practice every day! Behavior management is most often applied by a classroom teacher in group settings as a way to increase work completion and decrease off task behavior and classroom disruption. These strategies may consist of things like reward charts, earning a pizza party, visual reminders of desirable behaviors, consistency and follow-through.

Parents and children alike benefit from successful behavior management. Your child feels more in control of themselves and is receiving more positive attention from you as a parent. Potty training, anger management, sibling rivalry, chore/homework tasks, school refusal, and anxiety are just a few examples where behavior management can be beneficial.

Here at North shore Pediatric Therapy we have trained social workers who specialize in the area of behavior management. For more demanding behavioral changes, we offer Applied Behavior Analysis where a trained behavior therapist works with your child in a more intense and structured setting.

Client Reviews

My son has been receiving ABA at NSPT4Kids for a year and a half. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, caring, and understanding. They have been great working with our insurance company. My son has completely opened up. He now seeks his older sister to play – something he never did for the first four and a half years of his life. He looks at me when he talks to me. We have conversations. It is amazing. I never would have thought ABA could do this. I am so thankful for NSPT4Kids!


Our son has been in the ABA program at North Shore for almost two years now. The gains his therapists have made with him have been without a shadow of a doubt wonderful and remarkable. Everything they do in session, we always reinforce at home to help him continue his gains. The ABA therapists are always quick to update the kids individual program to continue to challenge the kids, even if they are having a rough time that session. We are grateful of what North Shore has done for our son both past, present and moving into the future. As we get ready to send our son into Kindergarten, the North Shore ABA team gets a lot of credit helping to make this milestone happen for him. I highly recommend North Shore for all of their services.

Tom J