The ones in your repertoire are likely to be ones from one's parents, and also likely to be ones from other relatives. And this is dictated by one's personality, too. So for example, one's personality might be a little, tiny bit more impulsive. Some are more extroverted, some are more introverted, and all this is also normal. Something called temperament is a physiological predisposition that is evident at birth. So for example, young children with a very adaptive temperament, if they don't get fed right away, it's no big deal.
If a mother hands them to some stranger, they don't start crying and pouting.
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These are just variations in humans that are quite normal. So that temperament also dictates how much [a parent] can take before you respond. Or let's say you're one of those moms who have postpartum depression.
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If it lasts for very long, you really alter how you rear your child. You're much less warm and affectionate. All those things can increase or decrease reactivity.
Four Weeks to a Better-Behaved Child
So you're really desperate. You shout, you try to reason, you think you're a wonderful parent. You think that you're just the greatest parent in the world. It develops their IQ, but it's not good for changing behavior. So it's good to do that, but apparently it doesn't change behavior.
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Smoking is bad for me, why didn't you tell me that? Parents might start out reasoning, but they're likely to escalate to something a little bit more, like shouting, touching, firmly dragging their child, even if they're well-intentioned. The way to get rid of a child's negative behavior is not to do the punishment. Even a wonderful punishment, gentle punishment like time-out, or reasoning, those don't work.
How can parents behave like couples when the leave system is so out of joint?
Kazdin: What it amounts to is an area of research that's called applied behavior analysis, and what it focuses on are three things to change behavior: What comes before the behavior, how you craft the behavior, and then what you do at the end. There are a whole bunch of things that happen before behavior and if you use them strategically, you can get the child to comply. One is gentle instructions, and another one is choice.
Tone of voice dictates whether you're going to get compliance or not. We're going to go out, okay? And choice isn't important, it's the appearance of choice that's important. Having real choice is not the issue, humans don't feel too strongly about that, but having the feeling that you have a choice makes a difference.
And now the behavior itself. When you get compliance, if that's the behavior you want, now you go over and praise it Here [at the Yale Parenting Center ], we deal with two kinds of children. One is that they are very aggressive and have serious psychiatric problems. And the other one is that they come in for normal kinds of issues that parents just want some help on. Children come to us with very extreme tantrums—45 minutes on the floor, hitting parents, maybe breaking things, just causing havoc—and the parents want to change the tantrum.
They've punished the child for the tantrum, but of course that's just going to make it worse. Meanwhile, a game is an antecedent, so already, no one's tense or punishing anything.
Four Weeks to a Better Behaved Child : Cristine Chandler :
Already, we're in a situation that's going to be really, really good. And it's only game, but if you can do that, I'm going to give you two points on this little chart. I can't believe you did that! Getting the child to practice the behavior changes the brain and locks in the habit. And we've only done it once. I don't think there's a child on the planet who can do this twice in the row. Now you do this again and the same thing happens. If the tantrum has many different components, you change your requirement—this time, you don't do whatever. You practice it, maybe once or twice a day, and you do this for a while.
And that tantrum is either a little or a lot better. Billy, that was fantastic. You do the game maybe a little bit more, but what happens now is that the likelihood of these tantrums outside of the game being good tantrums, really increases. But this is just one thing. Any behavior that hurts someone including hurting their feelings or is dangerous should always be a no. But you can decide on the other rules. Maybe jumping on the couch is just fine in your house.
Be loving. Catch them being good, too. Be very positive about good behaviors or when they pull it together and stop a bad behavior. It also makes a difference to spend time with your children and show them that you are invested in them.
It puts discipline in a context and makes it easier and more worthwhile for children to behave well for you. Set a good example. Remember that children always pay way more attention to what we do than what we say. If you are having a hard time, talk to your doctor. Some children have a tougher time than others, for all sorts of reasons; sometimes parents need help.