Let’s take a holistic approach to Behavior Therapy. We at Behavior and Beyond want to address your entire child through their behavior. We also know that the entire family effects each individuals behavior. Similarly we know that each being in a classroom alters the environment of the class. So, if we are starting at the beginning, lets consider your behavior...as in, YOU, the one reading this blog...with that...Let’s start at the beginning...
When it comes to behavior there may be a variety of opinions about where the beginning begins. Personally, the beginning is understanding that behavior is interactive.
When we talk about a small being (a child) doing things that we want to change, adjust, modify or simply stop, we as the big beings (adults) need to be willing to look at our influence, involvement, participation and encouragement of the behavior.
Behavior is interactive.
Behavior is dynamic and always changing.
Behavior does not exist in a vacuum.
All this means that if you really want to change your child's behavior, you need to be willing to look at your own. This is true whether you are a parent, teacher, babysitter, grandparent or involved neighbor.
Ever notice that a child's behavior changes based on the environment or who is around? There may be one set of behaviors with the teachers at school, one set of behaviors at home with the parents, and one set of behaviors when on a play date. This is a great example of how behavior is interactive. The child is responding to those around. It is a concrete way to observe that we, as adults, play a part in the behavior we experience from the children in our lives.
Let me be clear, none of this is about blame. In most cases, you are doing a great job! Yet, sometimes the desired results are not coming. This is because behavior is interactive and the small being has influence over how your parenting, teaching, or playing is responded to because behavior is interactive.
Here is the exciting part: Behaviorally, there are countless ways to be great! There are multiple ways to adjust your personal behavior to influence those around you. There are many more factors that can be used to our advantage to get the desired behaviors from small beings, than most people know about.
If you are willing to truly explore and change your own behavior, know that it will have a dramatic impact on the small beings in your life!! For years, I have taught children that they alone are responsible for their own behavior. That they alone are in control of their behavior. That they alone can change their behavior. I can adjust outside circumstances to make behavior changes more likely or desirable to happen. I can strongly influence their motivation. I can strongly alter the consequences of their behavior.
Consider this suggestion for you, as an adult. Are you tired of repeating yourself...then stop saying things more than once. Are you tired of yelling at your child, then stop yelling. Are you tired of always say "stop, no, don't" then find ways to reinforce rather than constantly punish.
Yes, I understand, it is much more complex than just stopping some of your behaviors. That is because behaviors are interactive.
The first step is simply to notice YOUR behavior. When a small being does something that you don't enjoy, notice what you are doing and how you react. Think about a different way you could respond and be curious about how that would change the dynamic. Notice what it is that you are doing that you do not enjoy.
HOW to change your behavior and how to change the behavior of the small beings in your life will come. There are lots of strategies and ideas and ways to change behavior. The first step is to see clearly ALL the behaviors that need to change...yours and your child's. That is a huge first step!!
Remember you are not alone. Behavior and Beyond is here to help you and your family explore and change behavior!