The gift of the word, “No:” 2 ways to teach acceptance

by  sboneham via Flickr

by sboneham via Flickr

One of the most powerful behaviors you can teach your child is how to behave when told, “no.”

I was recently pleased to read an article about teaching children resiliency when things do not go their way. I have written about it regarding a parent who tried too hard to keep her children happy and when warning about the dangers of trying to avoid every tantrum or pooched out lip.

Here is the newsflash: your kids are not always going to get what they want! Continue reading

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Is your plan for your child’s behavior working? Are you sure??

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When thinking about something you are doing to help stop a certain behavior or encourage another one, ask yourself a very simple question:

“are you doing more of that something, or less?”

The answer will tell you if your “plan” is working.

This might sting a little, so hold on with me…this is important. Continue reading

Setting things up for better behavior…or worse?

Photo by Ray Bouknight via Flickr

Photo by Ray Bouknight via Flickr

“This child just cannot sit still”

It was my first year of graduate school and my first behavior analysis professor asked the class what seemed to be a fairly easy question regarding a student’s behavior. She said,

Johnny cannot sit still in his seat. He is always fidgeting, and moving around. What would you do?

Take a moment and think about what you might have said…

As I remember, the common responses were something like this:

“Reinforce him for sitting calmly in his seat”

“Give him stickers for sitting, and do it a lot at first”

“Praise him when he sits still…tell him how good he is doing”

“When he is wiggling in his seat, tell him how to sit nicely”

There might have even been a response of “just ignore it…”

The professor had a lesson to teach and it is a lesson I would like to share today.

She showed a picture of a seat filled with thumbtacks. Continue reading

Letting your child “get away with it”

photo by Michael Bentley via Flickr

photo by Michael Bentley via Flickr

Probably the most frequent question I get from parents usually ends with “I can’t just let her get away with it, can I?”

This is a hard question to answer without looking deeper into the situation each of these parents is facing, so I want to take a second to go over what I really mean when I tell them…”well, it depends on what she is getting away with.” Continue reading

Are rules meant to be broken?

Photo by JunCTionS via Flickr

Photo by JunCTionS via Flickr

I’m sitting in a plane trying to stretch my legs and figure out if there is any way these seats could be more uncomfortable and the flight attendant comes over the speaker, “Due to the turbulence, the captain has turned on the seatbelt sign. Please return to your seats and remain seated until the seatbelt sign is no longer illuminated.”

No kidding, within two minutes, three different people got up from their seats and bounced their way back to the bathroom. It was almost as if they waited for the opportunity when everyone else was going to be seated to go to the bathroom.

Didn’t you just hear the lady??? Its freakin’ dangerous to be walking around in the plane like this, and if you knock over my drink on me…Even if you aren’t moved by the fact that this plane is bouncing around like crazy and you might hurt yourself or, God forbid, someone else, it’s the darn rule!

Of course, being the lame rule-follower I tend to be in these situations, I look up to see the flight attendant immersed in Fifty Shades of something, not paying a bit of attention to the rule-breakers. Really? If it is not that big of a deal, why turn on the light anyway? Let us roam around and use the bathroom if you are not convinced enough there is actual danger that you will be willing to follow through.

Alright, so where is the behavior/parenting part of this? Continue reading

Are you begging your child to cooperate?

Photo by Tobyotter via Flickr

Photo by Tobyotter via Flickr

We all want our kids to behave well. We want them to do what they should and when they should do it. We want them to earn the spoils of behaving properly. We create some of these “spoils” ourselves in the form of sticker charts, trips to the ice cream shop or dollar bills.

But, are there situations when we try too hard to get our kids to earn what we have arranged? I think so. Continue reading