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The ABCs of Parenting. Let’s start with B B= behavior Observable / Describable Bs are either “OK” or “not OK” Each family makes their own decisions about.

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Presentation on theme: "The ABCs of Parenting. Let’s start with B B= behavior Observable / Describable Bs are either “OK” or “not OK” Each family makes their own decisions about."— Presentation transcript:

1 The ABCs of Parenting

2 Let’s start with B B= behavior Observable / Describable Bs are either “OK” or “not OK” Each family makes their own decisions about what is in each category Most Bs have a reason, for example: To get something that you want To get out of something that you don’t want Safety/security Power/control/influence For most “not OK” behaviors, the reason is understandable, even if the B is not

3 Think of a B that is relevant to you Something you’ve been interested in working with your child or adolescent on Something that occurs while you are around (not only at school) If the B is complicated (lots of parts), pick one part that you think you could address E.g., Your child rarely does the chores and gives you an ‘attitude’ when you ask, pick either doing the chore OR addressing the attitude (hint, picking the chore might be an easier place to start!) Hold that B in mind… as we go through our presentation…

4 What are the As Fancy name = Antecedent Normal name = What happens BEFORE a behavior happens A’s can be for desirable (OK) or undesirable (not OK) behaviors Some examples for A’s making OK behavior more likely ContextualImmediate Child is well fedChild received a clear instruction about what is expected Child is well restedParent is close in proximity Child generally understands expectations in the situation Request is reasonable Child has been rewarded for OK behavior in the past Parent makes eye contact Parent and child have a warm relationship Parent is calm and confident

5 Some examples for A’s making not OK behavior more likely ContextualImmediate Child is hungry or thirstyChild is unsure about what is expected in the moment (instruction is unclear Child is tiredParent is far away Child unclear about expectations in general Request is poorly timed Child has received attention for not OK behavior in the past Parent is upset or emotional Parent and child are having difficulty in their relationship Child is absorbed in a more interesting activity

6 Tools for making the most out of A’s Increase number of positive interactions Younger children: Child led time Child choice. Parent observes and comments/reflects. No questions, instructions, judgments. Tweens and adolescents: Spending time together doing or talking about something your child is interested in Probably the single most powerful parenting strategy Why does this work? Metaphor: Good Boss Bad Boss

7 Positive Opposites Thinking about your target B…. What would the positive opposite be? It’s all about the A BPossible opposite-B Talking backExpressing opinion appropriately WhiningUsing a pleasant voice HittingUsing words Coming home after curfewComing home on time (or at least calling!) Messy roomPutting backpack away Emotional outburstsGoing to room to calm down when upset

8 And a little more about the A Giving clear instructions Consider: Timing – does this request need to be made now? Importance – is it necessary for the running of the household? Proximity – am I close to my child/adolescent when I give the instruction? “Do” language – does the instruction tell my child/adolescent what to do (as opposed to what not to do) Clear language – Is the instruction succinct? Avoid (when possible) asking as a question, too many instructions, vague instructions.

9 Examples of As for specific Bs? BA Increase following instructions Making sure instructions are well timed Get close to my child, within arm’s reach Get eye contact Give a clear instruction with a calm voice Increase talking respectfully Show interest when my child is talking respectfully Have a conversation at a neutral time about ground rules If it seems like a high risk situation, gently remind child of ground rules Model talking respectfully


11 But when prevention doesn’t work…. C = consequence It’s what happens after the B Can determine whether the B is more or less likely to happen again Tips to consider: What is meaningful to YOUR child/adolescent? (may not be the same as your friend’s child!) Are you prepared to follow through every time (at least at first)? Timing – may want to start at a time that’s more relaxed…. (not when you have to get out the door for work) How do you want to talk with your child/adolescent about it?

12 C’s work best when… Planned ahead of time Calm, consistent, decisive, fair Linked to the B whenever possible (logical consequences) For OK B’s: Reward talking nicely with extra phone time; reward homework completion with extra free time For not OK B’s: Child runs away on a walk so has to hold your hand; child does not turn off TV for dinner so loses TV time that evening Plenty of opportunity given for ‘positive opposite’ afterwards If your child is acting up to GET OUT of something, it’s important that the C doesn’t help them to get out of it, accidentally!

13 Examples of some C’s matched to B’s? BC Doesn’t follow an instruction Repeat instruction only once Send child to quiet time Repeat instruction Talks disrespectfully Remind child of the rule and calmly tell child that you will talk with them again when they are speaking respectfully (leave room if necessary) Make a plan to resume discussion when everyone is calm Be sure to follow-up later to finish discussion

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