Top Ten Behavioral Strategies

1. ASSUME CONTROL

  • Control based in Action/Relationship
  • Don’t entertain explanations
  • Project self-confidence
  • Business-like
  • Give direction, don’t make requests

2. AVOID ARGUMENTS AND EMOTION

  • Cut-off communication if child becomes belligerent
  • Avoid reasoning with child
  • Give direction and walk away
  • Communicate: It’s your problem, not mine
  • 1-2-3 Counting

3. PLAN FOR NEXT TIME

  • Discuss ahead of time what will happen if noncompliant
  • Also discuss between parents – PLAN AHEAD and BE ON THE SAME PAGE
  • Predetermined expectations and consequences (behavior charts…)
  • Most problem behavior is predictable and patterned
  • Be consistent
  • Don’t give a direction if not ready to back-it-up (each time you do that, you lose some control)

4. DON’T LECTURE

  • Brief and to the point
  • Humor
  • No emotion (be the James Bond of parents)
  • Don’t explain or lecture
  • 1-2-3 Counting

5. FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM BEHAVIOR; BE SPECIFIC

  • Be specific (what you want, and what you like)
  • No emotion, models self-confidence
  • Don’t focus on “attitude” – focus on behavior

6. AVOID DISTRACTIONS

  • Turn off TV, video games
  • Remove siblings and friends
  • No distractions during confrontations and chores

7. USE POSITIVE PRAISE AND EMOTION

  • Catch them being good
  • You get what you praise
  • Attention-Tank (fill child’s attention tank with positive praise)
  • Whisper (softer and closer)

8. SELF-DISCLOSURE

  • Use judiciously and cautiously
  • I-Feel Statements (“I feel frustrated when you ignore me…”)
  • Tell them how you feel, don’t show them (control your emotional response)

9. ROLE MODEL APPROPRIATE PROBLEM-SOLVING

  • ‘What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say’
  • Words and emotion are your enemy (brief, no emotion)
  • Role model effective problem-solving

10. PICK YOUR BATTLES

  • Be flexible
  • Check-in later