Everything is Behavior, and Behaviors Can Be Changed
In a graduate course, a professor once defined behavior as, “Anything that a dead person can’t do” – in other words, if a living person CAN do it, it’s a behavior.
Typically, when parents talk about “behavior” what they really mean is “problem behavior” – crying, tantrums, aggression, bullying, etc.
What was so profound about that graduate course was that all of a sudden, everything that we did all day every day, was subject to the scientific principles of behavior, and could be modified with the application of the science – and that was so empowering!
We cannot tell you how many parents we have worked with who were resigned to the issues their children exhibited because, “That’s just how they were born.” And though there is A LOT that our children come from the womb with, there is also A LOT that we can do to help address the problem behaviors and shape our children to be the best versions of themselves.
Our goal here at Parent Like a Professional is to share with other parents the power that they possess in shaping the little humans that they are raising. It's our superhero power!
Yes, of course there are certain genetic components that are unchangeable, but so much of who our kids become is because of how we raise them, engage with them, and teach them.
That's NOT just who your kid is!
I think that most parents feel such a sense of defeat when their kids display any number of problem or undesirable behaviors because their thought is, "That's just who my kid is."
Our argument here is: that is just who your kid is today, because of the way that he/she is being raised. And that is NOT a knock on parents; it's not meant to make parents feel bad or feel that they are failing.
Rather, it is to highlight just how much control a parent has to help shape their children into the best versions of themselves. You CAN help your children make changes for the better and Parent Like a Professional is here to help you every step of the way.
Implementing strategies to make change isn't really that hard. Or at least, it's only hard for short blips of time to correct the problem, and then the stage is set for easier parenting down the line.
Admittedly, practicing as a behavior analyst for as many years as I have under my belt, it's been relatively easy, but even my husband, whose only exposure to my field of work is through me, often remarks on how easy our parenting style is, how enjoyable the experience of parenting is, and how he wishes others could learn how to do it. We truly love being parents, experiencing life with our kid (soon to be kids), and I have to say it is a common sentiment that I hear from many other behavior analyst parents.
So, take a moment to digest how much power you have in helping your child become the best version of him or herself. Then get to learning (Read: Don't Put Off Doing the Hard Work) so that you can put Parent Like a Professional strategies into practice in your home!