Parents and teachers make all kinds of sacrifices in their jobs and lives. When dealing with a crisis situations there are many risks and sacrifices that must be made. I was recently asked by an administrator, “When is enough, enough?” I can answer that question for myself. Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question for another person.
I’ve done this job for a long time and I have sacrificed a great many things in order to foster long term positive behavior change for the students with whom I work. I have sacrificed time with my family, my own emotional health, and even my body at times to promote social emotional well-being for my students (and their teachers). See And I would do it all over again! to see examples.
Working with severe chronic behavior requires extreme ‘chronic’ intervention. In order to foster change you have to realize you have that student for a purpose. If everything else had worked in the past, they wouldn’t be there. You have to be willing and able to put forth the time and effort to make it work. Sometimes this is difficult because behaviors can spike to almost intolerable levels once extinction procedures are implemented. However, with a crisis plan in place for how to deal with these issues, you should be able to “ride out the storm” per say and come out safely in the end.
Knowing what it is going to take in order to promote change for the better is essential. That being said, working through chronic intense behaviors is not for everyone and not every intervention is for everyone. Sometimes to make a difference you can only come as close to that ideal as possible. There are limits afterall. But think of how much sooner you can make a difference if you could go all the way. To do that, you will have to know ahead of time what you are willing to sacrifice to get there. Knowing that you are willing to give something up is better than having someone take it away from you.
So my question for you is, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to truly promote behavior change for your kids?