Clinicians working with families and children are often faced with the tall order of helping improve school problem behaviors.  It is a long school day with many factors and many different people involved.

One way to tackle this seemingly impossible task is to use the very effective tool of simulation.  Simulation involves role-playing a scenario, rather than just talking about it, with a child in which they handle a problem well.  The key in this is to be sure to praise and reinforce this role-play immediately.

You can use this technique in your session with the child, however, it will only be helpful if it is practiced repeatedly.  Teach the parent how to conduct these role-plays at home with their child between your sessions.

The role-plays should start out easy and silly and be non threatening situations.  Then, as the child progresses, the role-plays can get more difficult and realistic.  You can role-play anything from social situations with other students to how to stay calm when frustrated with school work.