Not enough parents try to change the behavior of their children by changing their children's surroundings.
Environmental modification is used more with infants and small children than with older children because, as kids get older, parents start relying more on verbal methods, especially those that "put down" a child or threaten her with parental power; they neglect environmental modification and try to talk the child out of unacceptable behavior. This is unfortunate, since environmental modication is often very simple and extremely effective with children of all ages.
Parents begin using this method more extensively once they become aware of its wide range of possibilities:
- Enriching the environment.
- Impoverishing it.
- Simplifying it.
- Restricting it.
- Child-proofing it.
- Substituting one activity for another.
- Preparing the child for changes in her environment.
- Planning ahead with older children.
More tomorrow on the first method: Enriching the environment