Develop a System to Ask for Help
Develop a system where you can ask for help from your partner/co-parent.
Sometimes, working through a specific behavioral challenge with our child can be utterly exhausting. Most of the time, a behavior plan only requires one person to actively be implementing at any given point.
This means that if there are two parents in the home, you get to trade off being the person in charge. Come up with a signal or word that can be used to alert your partner that you need to take a break.
When my daughter was having a sleep regression, calling out and coming out of her room after bedtime, we knew that we needed to put together a plan to address it. The first night that we put the plan into action was definitely the most difficult, and after putting my daughter back in her room 10 times, I needed to emotionally cool down and take a break. I uttered our code word, “SWAP” and my husband took over the duties so I could sit down in the backyard to deescalate.
Come up with a signal or word that can be used to alert your partner that you need to take a break.
Take turns; allow your partner to do half of the work so that you don’t feel overburdened with the task. Communicate in advance how you will hand off responsibility so that it can be as seamless as possible.
If you do not have a co-parent available to you, reach out for help from family or friends to help support the first day of any new system to address your child’s behavior.
Any time that we start something brand new with our children, there is likely to be a day of pushback before we start to see some behavioral shift. Any support you can get on Day 1 will be invaluable to your ability to stay committed to the plan!