If you don’t stop I’m going to take that away from you! If you don’t stop I’m going to take that away from you! If you don’t stop I’m going to take that away from you!”
on and on and on.
How many times have we heard this at the mall and yet, the child continues to hit their sibling with a stick?
Better yet, how many of us have done this!?
Parents make threats all the time and yet wonder why behavior doesn’t change.
Parenting is exhausting.
Every day parents come home after working all day to a dirty house, mountains of laundry, children needing help with homework and something needs to be cooked for dinner and all the while hoping the
threats they are making to their children will work because parents really don’t have the energy to take on one more battle of the day.
Or better yet, get caught up in the chaos and forget what or why you were even threatening. Sigh…what to do?!
Here is the best way to change your child’s behavior.
MEAN WHAT YOU SAY!
And here is a simple systematic way to do
It’s called “3 Step Prompting/Tell, Show, Help."
Here is an example of how this works.
You ask your child to come to the table for dinner.
Your child is busy playing their video game and ignores you.
What do you do?
Tell, Show, And Help!
Ask your child to “come to the table for dinner”.
Your child may tell you “no” or ignore you.
Wait 10 seconds and give the direction again (come to the table), but this time be in front of the child so
that the child has to look at you.
Even hold your hand out to initiate handing over the game (SHOW).
Wait again 10 seconds to see if your child complies.
If the child continues to protest, HELP them turn off the game and go to the table.
This may require your “hand over hand” (or physically holding the child’s hands to help them turn off the game) and make the child turn the game off.
may tantrum initially, but over time, the child will learn you will follow through with your request and it is easier to comply.
Be consistent and reinforce when the child complies before you have to HELP.
For more training on this technique or to get assistance with more extreme behaviors, please contact Autism and Behavior Services.
ABS is a non-profit organization that works with children ages 2 to 12 with behavior issues.
ABS has two Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), trained in the methodologies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) who work with children and their families both at home and in the community to assist with behaviors.
For more information, please call 423-664-0903 or visit our website at