The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #86: Why kids act up

June 3, 2020

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Do you know why your kid acts up? Understanding why they do allows you to intervene and address behaviors beforehand.

When our kids act up, we become so focused on the behavior and outcome that we often forget that something happened before the behavior to cause it.

Are they tired? Are they worried? Are they hungry? Was someone being mean?

Being able to focus on things that happen beforehand and addressing them is incredibly powerful. It sends a message to our child that we care about figuring out what is happening in their life and not just about punishing them.

The way to figure out what happened that contributes to a behavior is by using the ABC’s of Behavior.

The A stands for antecedent. This is what happened beforehand that contributed to the behavior. There can be multiple antecedents that contribute to specific behavior.

The B stands for behavior. This is the behavior your child is doing. This behavior can be good or bad.

The C stands for consequence. The consequence is what happens after the behavior.

Sometimes the antecedent may be clear, like when their sibling takes their toys. In other situations, it may not be so obvious. An antecedent can happen hours or even days beforehand. There can also be multiple antecedents that contribute to a behavior.

The more you can focus on addressing antecedents, the more behavior will decrease. For example, if you know that your child refuses to do their homework when they are hungry, you can easily prevent the issue by making sure they have a snack before beginning.

Using the ABC’s of Behavior will make your life easier. In general, it takes less work to address behaviors in the antecedent stage than in the consequence stage.

Join the Smarter Parenting Club where we can help you figure out antecedents and how you can address and prevent them.

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