The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #43: When–teaching to negative behaviors

November 18, 2019

Today’s podcast covers the when pillar. In implementing new teaching, parents ask, “When is a good time to teach behavior skills to address problems?? The answer: As soon as possible. 

The object of any corrective teaching is to bring a child back to a non-escalated state as quickly as possible. 

By teaching to the negative behavior as soon as possible, you keep the problem from escalating. The longer you wait until you address the behavior, the more work you have to do to correct their behavior.

Each of us has a tolerance level of what behaviors we will accept before intervening. For some parents, they have a very low tolerance level and step in very early on to address problems. For other parents, they have a very high tolerance level and will only step in after things have gotten way out of hand. 

We should work to have low tolerance levels as having low tolerance levels makes life more comfortable and improve relationships with our kids.

What does this acttually look like? 

Your son is playing with your daughter, and she takes his toy. Because you have a low tolerance level, you would intervene at this point and work to deescalate the situation. 

What if you don’t step in? Think of what happens next. Your daughter has taken another toy. Now your son is not only crying, but he’s also starting yelling and getting angry. He tries to grab the toy from his sister. She’s teasing him and holding the toy away. His frustrating level has now reached a breaking point, and he starts hitting his sister.  

Do you see how much more corrective you need to do to address the situation because you waited to step in?

How long will parents need to teach new behaviors? As long as it takes. There is no magic formula as you’re working with children who have their own thoughts, feelings, and personalities. It may be frustrating if the change is slow. Keep at it. Eventually, you will see a return on your investment. 

The behavior skills that parents need to teach their children come from the Teaching-Family Model and can be found on

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