One of the top things I hear from parents when we talk about behaviors… “But, my kids behaviors are so random!” I am here to tell you… They may not be so random after all!
Before we finish up our discussions on functions of behaviors, I thought we would take a slight detour and talk about a little thing called the ABCs of behavior. Now, I am not talking about the alphabet here. In my world, we call the ABCs of Behavior the Antecedent, the Behavior, and the Consequence. In laymen terms… What happens immediately before the behavior, the behavior itself and what happens immediately after the behavior!
Let me break it down…
One of my friends came to me in a panic. This mama had a newborn baby and a toddler. My friend noted that every time she pulled into her garage, she said her toddler would randomly SCREAM when she would try to get her kids out of the car. She was sleep deprived and naturally over this behavior coming from her little man… I mean, what mama wouldn’t be, right?
So… Is this screaming behavior from her toddler really random? Or, can you figure out a trend and identify what is ACTUALLY happening with reviewing the situation from a wider lens?
I told my friend to review the car seat situation from a different perspective. If you ONLY look at the behavior itself, you are missing A LOT of important information. Instead, what happens BEFORE the screaming started?
Were you helping baby sister? Did you ask the toddler to do something? Did you take something away from big brother? These are very important questions to help you identify WHY the behavior occurred.
Once my friend reviewed the situation from the wider lens, she figured out that when her toddler screamed, it was when she would get baby out of the car FIRST. This was the result of an attention issue! So, she figured she would start getting big brother out of the car before the baby.
Well that was easy peasy!
The screaming stopped pretty quickly after this! No need for yelling at the kids, no time out was necessary, no big plans to reduce this issue. Just a different perspective and a little environmental shift :). Boom! Another happy mama and happy kids!
If you try any of these strategies, share! Let me know how things going. I would love to hear about it. If you choose to post it, make sure you are using the hashtag #beehavenmama and tag @beehaventribe!