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Preparation is the Key to Success

How to get my child to do what I ask
One of the most frequent questions that we get from parents is: “What do I do when my child ______?”  What they are really asking is, “After my child exhibits an undesired behavior, how should I respond?”

Proactive vs. Reactive Strategies

In the behavior world, we often talk about strategies as either proactive (things that we can do before a behavior occurs, to create an environment that promotes success) or reactive (meaning, what we do after a behavior occurs).

For example, if we know that we reliably have a problem asking our child to put away toys and transition to brushing her teeth in the evening, there are several proactive strategies that we can use to increase the chances that our child will be successful with this transition:


Preparation is the Key to Success | Parent Like a Professional

All of these strategies have to be thought of in advance, and require planning. 

Using the same example, the reactive strategy would be, "How I will respond if my child refuses to comply or throws a tempter tantrum?"  Calmly clean up the toys and continue presenting the instruction that it’s time to brush teeth.

The proactive strategies often get neglected when parents are attempting to address a behavioral issue with their child.  We believe that adequate preparation and planning are even more important than the reactive strategy at times, and they deserve attention and thought.

In fact, in most of our tutorials on addressing problems with our children, it’s safe to say that at least 50% (if not more) is devoted to changes that need to be made before addressing the behavior itself.

The Takeaway

Don’t neglect the planning!  It sets the stage for achieving a successful routine for both parents and kids, and isn’t that what we are all looking for??



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