Book Review: Parenting with Positive Behavior Support

Cover image courtesy of Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Parenting With Positive Behavioral Support

A Practical Guide to Resolving Your Child's Difficult Behavior

By Meme Hieneman, Karen Childs and Jane Sergay; 206 pages.

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) involves analyzing a child's negative behavior, figuring out what he or she gets or avoids by doing it, and substituting more positive behavior so that parents can have peace and kids can still have their needs met.

This book is filled with charts, forms, examples, and wisdom for helping you use PBS to make your child more manageable, your home more peaceful, and your own life more organized, too. Self-help for everyone!

About the Guide Rating

Why You Might Like It

  • Takes a successful behavior technique and adapts it to home use
  • Authors are parents who have tried this out themselves
  • Case studies give you an opportunity to learn from, and second-guess, other families
  • Worksheets throughout help you design a plan for your child as you read
  • Blank forms in the back of the book make continuing your progress easy

Why You Might Not

  • Techniques will need to be adapted for children with significant special needs
  • Case studies are longer and more detailed than they need to be
  • You'll need to be able to fully focus your attention to get through this

Full Review

Have you ever had the experience of hearing another parent lament their child's behavior and thinking, "Well, I know exactly what you're doing wrong.

It's so obvious. How can you not see it?" Parenting with Positive Behavior Support delivers that experience in spades, as it leads us through a number of scenarios involving child misbehavior and invites us to make out behavior plans for those struggling families. Figuring their stuff out? Easy and enlightening.

Figuring your own family's stuff out? Hmmm, maybe not.

The first book I ever read about PBS was from the same publisher, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.; it was called Positive Behavioral Support: Including People with Difficult Behavior in the Community, it was written by and for professionals, and while I found it useful, the experience of reading it made my brain hurt. Parenting with Positive Behavior Support is much more friendly to parents' aching brains, and does a good job of breaking down the process of PBS and applying it to at-home situations. That's not to say it's an easy read; you'll want to be able to focus hard as you go through this material, which may mean doing it with no kids around (hey, good luck with that).

You'll also need to do some adjusting of the techniques if you have a child with significant special needs. The authors have aimed their explanations at fairly garden-variety child-behavior trials: a kid who can't stay in bed, say, or a rebellious teen. One case study does deal with a teen with Asperger's, and another with a child with learning disabilities, but you may find the advice to require more input and responsibility from your child than your child can reasonably give.

Still, the advice is good, and the suggestion to use it on the behavior of everyone in the family is really helpful. You can probably take it from there.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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