Behavior Therapy on the Subway: A Behavior Success Story

Most families call me for private sessions when they are at the depths of despair. I suspect that the idea of having a behavior therapist within the walls of your home might not be too appealing unless it's absolutely necessary.

And in every seemingly desperate situation I always find that there is something that can be done to improve the behavior. There is ALWAYS a positive direction which we can head together.

Here is a success story and an informal behavioral lesson with a small being on the subway.

One evening, I'm on the subway headed home. I'm sitting in a bench seat, which means that someone can sit behind me. I hear a small being yell and laugh and turn to see this peanut, about four years old, running around the subway car.

Looking at his mother, I can tell that she is worn out and too exhausted to stop him. I also notice that he most likely does not understand that he is bothering other people. In this small being's view, he is playing. When he starts poking strangers, his mother forces him to sit.

And yes, she was holding him cornered on the bench, otherwise he would be up and running around.  

It turns out that his seat was directly behind me! Each time he tried to get up his mom said sternly “No sit down.” This happened over and over again. The mom was doing the best she could to keep him away from the strangers on the subway.

This small being, ever persistent, then moved his plan of attack to strangers within reach. That meant me. He pulled my coat.

I turned around and said, “No pulling”. 

Everyone on the subway looked at me, shocked that I would tell him that. 

I smiled and turned back around. He did it again. I then said, “No, thank you”.  This time, I kept facing him and we started speaking. Not personal questions, as I was not sure he would be able to answer them. Instead we sang, nudged each other and made silly sounds together. His mother smiled and seemed grateful for the break. This small being went from annoying a dozen people on the train to playing with just one. He simply was seeking attention. He was not a bad kid or a problem child, just a small being who does not understand the world and wanted to play!

Sometimes a shift in perspective or a kind stranger can make a huge difference!

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If you are looking for some tools to help shift your perspective, then I have something just for you! My Behavioral Boost for Parents! It's a program packed with tools to transform behavior challenges with your small beings!

Small Steps lead to big behavioral changes. Take some small steps today.