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The behavior skill of Preventive Teaching isn’t just for kids; they are FAMILY skills.
In part two of our Preventive Teaching journey with Dawn, ADHD Parenting Coach Siope Kinikini teaches how behavior skills are powerful when parents apply them to themselves. That’s the strength of the behavior skills of the Teaching-Family Model. The behavior skills can be applied to kids; the behavior skills can be applied to adults. It doesn’t matter. They will work.
The goal of Preventive Teaching is to help prepare us for situations that may arise. If we do the prep work before we cook, or paint, or pack for a vacation, the actual cooking, painting, and packing are easier.
In Dawn’s case, Preventive Teaching helped her deal with a self-soothing behavior from her son that annoyed her and lead to decreased patience and increased frustration.
Because the self-soothing behavior wasn’t going to go away, Dawn needed ways to prevent her reaction to it. She didn’t want to be this parent who was frustrated and upset every time the behavior happened. With guidance from Siope Kinikini, she implemented strategies that allowed her to remain focused and calm when the behavior was happening.
Implementing Preventive Teaching helped her be a better parent. It helped her be the parent she wanted to be.
Admitting that we need help because our children’s behaviors are beyond our abilities doesn’t mean that we are a bad parent or that we don’t love them. Understanding that you need help is a sign of just how much you do love your children. When we are in the thick of a parenting struggle, it can be hard to see solutions or improvements. We need someone else to offer us guidance and reassurance. That’s what a Parenting Coach does. From their unique position outside of the problem, they can guide you. They help you see what needs to change and gives you to behavior skills you to make the change happen. They will encourage you when it gets tough or overwhelming. They are your ally in parenting. They want you and your family to improve!
Parenting Coaching helps parents set goals for their specific needs and situations. It is very individualized and customized to your family.
It can be scary to admit that you need help, and we applaud parents who do. These coaching sessions will help you get to where you want to be faster. They will remove the trial and error that can be frustrating and exhausting. If you’re ready to move your family forward, sign up for a free coaching session right now.
We can’t stress enough what incredible outcomes your family will see. Don’t put off healing your family any longer. Sign up right now for a free Parenting Coaching session!
In this episode. It’s a followup from the previous episode where we talk about Preventive Teaching. This is episode 81. Let’s begin.
Smarter Parenting welcomes you to our podcast series, The Parenting Coach for ADHD. Here to heal and elevate lives is your Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini.
Hello, my friends. How are you? I hope you’re doing great. I am doing fantastic. And today we are actually going to do a recap from what we talked about before. We talked about Preventive Teaching last week (Episode 80), so during this episode we’re going to revisit Preventive Teaching because I’m going to follow up with a family that I coached and how we actually flipped the script by using this skill with the parent. So during this podcast, there are three things that you’re going to be able to take away from it.
First off, you’re going to understand Preventive Teaching. I’m going to go through the steps so we can see how they are used. We’re going to follow up with a family I talked about last week.
The second thing you’re going to know and learn from this podcast is how I flipped the script and how we use the skill that was initially used to help get a behavior out of a child and how a parent was able to apply it to themselves.
And then the third thing you are going to learn during this podcast is how coaching can really be the way that you can learn how to individualize treatment. Individualize what we are doing here at Smarter Parenting to help your child. So I just wanted to first start off with an intro and let you understand what I am talking about as far as recap.
Last week I talked to a mother, her name was Dawn, and she was working with her child who had developmental delays. The initial problem that we had, that she reported with her son, was that he struggled with study time.
I get it. I want to give a huge shout out to the parents out there right now who are doing schooling at home with their children for the last couple of weeks. It’s a difficult thing to pile on schoolwork in addition to all the other responsibilities that parents are encountering right now. And so kudos to you parents. I’m one of those parents. I am working through with my own child in trying to get her schoolwork done and it’s difficult. It’s very difficult to be at home.
In a way, this may actually be of benefit to them if they do work from home because working from home, and having to live at home, and schoolwork and all of that, and having that all in the same space is quite a challenge for anyone who does work at home. And for a lot of us, we’ve had to switch up the way that we work. We can understand how difficult it can be because home is a sanctuary where we want to rest and relax and yet at the same time we have to be productive and provide work. So this is a skill that may be beneficial for children in the long run.
But anyways, with Dawn in teaching her child, this is not an uncommon thing. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, I highly suggest you go back and listen to it because we go in-depth in that episode about how she was able to use the skill of Preventive Teaching in order to help her child follow through with their study routine and get him at the table. Now, her son does have some developmental delays, but she was able to see success immediately with her child, which was fantastic. And in fact, I felt super happy for her because, “Wow, you’re able to see progress.” He was able to increase the positive behaviors over the week that we implemented Preventive Teaching.
So let me tell you what happened. I received another call from Dawn, and Dawn is saying, “Look, I have seen success and that’s great, but there are still other things that I want to work on with this child.” And I said, “You know what? I completely understand. I mean, children don’t just come with one thing that you were working on. There are usually multiple things that are going on.” And so instead of working and throwing a lot of different skills, while we were discussing, I realized that we could use Preventive Teaching but this time we could use it with Dawn and her individual self. How could we apply this skill to her as a parent instead of teaching it to a child, she can actually apply the skill to her own parenting style because it works so well.
And that’s a beauty of the skills that we’re teaching here at Smarter Parenting. Which come from the Teaching-Family Model is that these skills work both ways. It can help your child, but it can also help the parent be a better parent.
So in talking to Dawn, what she reported is that her son also has a tick-like behavior, and the tick-like behavior is annoying to her. She has a hard time with it. And I understand that. I mean I think a lot of parents understand that sometimes your children do things unintentionally that annoy you. And it goes back to the saying you love your child, and she does. She absolutely loves her child, but she doesn’t necessarily like what her child is doing at the moment and it drives her crazy.
And the more that she is around her child at home, the more this behavior ends up driving this feeling of being upset and angry at him. And so we talked about that at length. Now, the behavior that he exhibited was this behavior of making noises. He makes strange noises while he’s at the table.
So I talked to Dawn, “How long has he had this behavior? How long has he been struggling with this behavior?” And Dawn reported to me that he has had this for a very long time, and that this behavior was consistent throughout his life. And I said, “Okay, well how realistic is it that we are going to be able to change this behavior?”
And for Dawnn she had to think about it and she thought, “Well, probably never. It’s probably something I’m going to have to learn to live with.” And I said, “Well, that’s probably true. I think that there are things that we have to live with that we don’t necessarily like but that are characteristic of our children, right?” And so she said, “Well, what do I do because I just get so frustrated and I become upset?” And that’s where we started to flip the script.
So I’m going to review these steps to Preventive Teaching with you here because I think it’s super important. And then you’re going to see how I applied it with Dawn in her approach with her child.
So the steps to Preventive Teaching are, number one, say something positive or express empathy. Step number two, tell your child how to act, tell them what to do, and avoid telling them what not to do. Step number three is to give a meaningful reason to behave that way. Step number four is to practice the positive behavior. Step number five is to point out the good things they’re able to do during that Role-play, and correct them, if necessary. And step number six is to continually practice that over and over and over again.
Now, Dawn was able to implement this with her child easily. She used this to help her child get ready for the day and also get him to the table so he could study. And she used something that was motivating to her child to get her child to follow through with the behavior, which was spending a few minutes watching a Minecraft video from YouTube.
Now, if you haven’t listened to the previous episode, I really want you to go back and listen to it because we go more in-depth of how Dawn learned how to do this. But I’m going to show you now how I used Preventive Teaching on Dawn, and then how Dawn was able to implement this in her own life to address her own feelings of frustration that she was feeling for her child.
Now, for those of you who are listening for the first time, thank you for joining us. For those of you who’ve listened to us before to this podcast, welcome back. And you’re very familiar with Preventive Teaching, but it’s always good to review these things because review is the way that we learn things. We constantly need to be reminded and we need to review over and over and over again in order for it to really sink in. So Preventive Teaching is the way that we help prepare children for a future event. It’s the prep work before something happens.
The example I used with Dawn in the previous episode was she spent a lot of time when she heard that she was going to have a baby preparing for the baby. Painting a nursery. Buying a rocking chair. Setting up a cradle. Buying all the cute clothes. This all happened before the child even arrived. And after a child arrives, a lot of times parents just kind of go with the flow and wing it as they go. Well, Preventive Teaching takes that idea of we’re going to do this prep work up front so when the baby comes or when something happens, we have what we need and we know exactly what we need to do. That’s the example that I gave to Dawn and this is something that parents need to consider.
You know, we do spend a lot of time prepping for a child and yet when the child arrives, we tend to go on automatic pilot mode and that can’t be helpful. That is not helpful. So Dawn completely understood that in working through this. And Dawn’s super smart. She’s very brilliant, and I was so grateful to get the follow-up call and to work on this new issue with her and with her child.
So Dawn called up about this, this tick-like behavior that her son has. He makes these strange noises while he’s at the table. And after discussing with Dawn, she realized that’s something that’s most likely not going to change.
So I started to use the steps of Preventive Teaching with her. Now, if you remember the steps, you’re going to say something positive or express empathy. So with Dawn, I started off, “Well, Dawn, I understand that he makes noises that make you feel upset,” and we started to talk about her behavior. Sometimes she lets it go for a while and then she explodes.
And I said, “Okay, well what you need to do, and this is step number two, what you need to do is learn how to control your emotions before you start to get upset, right?” And I gave her a meaningful reason, which is step number three. “When you’re able to control your emotions, it will never get to a point where you will start yelling.”
I said, “Okay, so let’s talk about how you can control that behavior. Let’s talk about taking some deep breaths. Let’s talk about some additional things that you can try, which is leaving the room for a bit of time. Listening to music on AirPods or earbuds.” So we’re talking about how to practice some of these behaviors. And I said, “Okay, we evaluated what would work best for her and we came up with those three options.” She could stick in some air buds and listen to some peaceful music. She could leave and she could take deep breaths. Now because she’s an adult, obviously she can do multiple things. And so we explored all three of those.
When we were doing this whole process, we actually Role-played through each item. So she told me that the noise her child does when he’s at the table or when he’s around the room is he will make this clicking noise, and I’m just imitating this because this is what we use to Role-play, but he would make a noise that was much like, and then go, “Ah, ah,” and this would continually go on.
So, and working with Dawn, I went through those steps of Preventive Teaching to prepare her for future events because we knew this was something that was not going to change, but something that she needed to learn how to control in herself.
And so we started off with using the earbuds in her ears. So I said, “Okay, I’m going to be you. You’re going to be your son.” We switched the Role-play hub and the reason that we do that is so she can hear and see how I’m doing it and then she can repeat it. So she started making the noise. And what I did was I put the earbuds in my ear and I turned it to some calm music and I let it play for as long as they needed in order for me to calm down and then I would take them out. Then I said, “Okay, now I want you to practice that. I will make the noise and you can do the earbuds.”
Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m Role-playing this with her because she’s an adult and she can do this automatically. Well, the reason that I’m doing it with her is so she can get it in her muscle memory, in her mind memory as a way to react when she starts to hear this and she starts to feel frustrated. We reverse Role-played it and she was able to be herself and I made the noise and I did the. And then she put the earbuds on. She played some soft music. We were doing this all through video conference calling, and then she was able to pull them out and put them on the table. And it only took her probably about 30 seconds, maybe a minute of that break in order for her to come back and be calm. Be more calm than she was before.
And so we practiced that for a while. She said, “Okay, I think that’s going to work.” I said, “Okay, well let’s try the other options, which is leave the room.” And this is the funny thing because during the Role-play I actually did get up and I walked away from the computer for a while so she could see and that she had to still make the noise, but I wasn’t visible and then I would come back and she would see that I actually came back and then she Role-played it where she actually stood up and left the room. Now you’re again, you’re probably wondering why are we going through this Role-play? She’s an adult. I’m an adult. I could just explain this to her.
However, even with adults, Role-playing requires us to move to do it. We have to actually do it. I can’t tell you just how important it is to actually physically do it. There’s one thing about explaining how to play the piano, and there’s something very different about being able to actually play the piano, even as adults. So the reason that we get up and we actually physically do these things in order to help us, we actually get up and do these things in order to help us know how this feels, how this looks, and to really get it into our muscle memory. So we practiced her getting up and leaving the room for a bit, as long as it took and then coming back and we practiced that.
And so we were able to practice these different methods in order to help her deal with this behavior that we knew was not going away and that she would eventually have to deal with. Now, this isn’t a judgment at all on Dawn and some of the behaviors that she’s dealing with. She’s working with a child who has developmental delays. The behaviors that he is exhibiting when she starts to feel frustrated and upset are understandable. These are stemming behaviors, which is a behavior that is self-soothing for the child. And so in many ways, we don’t want to take that away. We want the child to be able to learn how to self-soothe. And in fact, we can introduce some additional skills to help the child later on in life.
But she felt like this is something that has been going on for so long that it most likely wouldn’t change immediately. So that’s why we had to flip the script and we had to have Dawn go through this experience.
Now, during the Role-play, which is what we were doing, practicing, there were times where I had to make some corrections. Dawn did not want to get up and leave the computer until she was calm. She didn’t want to do it. So I had to make some corrections and explained to her the importance of actually physically doing this and practicing this.
Now when we did those two behaviors and then we included the deep breathing. And so we did the deep breathing where you breathed in with your nose, held it, counted backward from five to zero, and then letting a breath of air out. So we practiced doing that multiple times, and she was to do that three times because that actually helped her calm down. She felt her shoulders relax, she felt herself being more resourceful and calm. She had three different things that she could do. And we practiced each of them four times each. So four times each we went through and that was me doing the. Consistently and then having her use these techniques.
Now, during our discussion afterward while we were talking about this, I pointed out all the positive. She was able to do these easily four times, which is the requirement for Preventive Teaching. She needs to do these consistently four times on her own in order to really get that connected into her muscle memory and into her body and into the way of thinking when she hears that noise.
It’s classical conditioning in helping her know exactly how to respond to those when she starts to feel upset or frustrated or angry. Now in working with her of course, I praised her because she did a great job. She was able to do this.
What we learned through during the whole practice is that one was more effective than the other. And the most effective thing for her was to use the music, the earpods. She decided she was going to keep them close by because she always had her phone and that whenever that was happening she would just stick them in and use that time to calm herself down and she would debrief as well. So she chose to multiply those by using multiple techniques in order to help bring her back to where she could be more calm.
Now, we plan for her to be able to use that immediately that day. And in fact, I got a text from her and she said, “I did it 12 times today. Did it 12 times.” And I said, “Okay, well great. Well, how did it work out?” And she’s like, “It was fine. I didn’t yell. I didn’t scream. And I didn’t explode on my child. And I was elated. I was like, “Absolutely, this is exactly the direction we need to go.”
So can you see how Preventive Teaching was useful last week in helping her child follow through with expectations? But this week we actually applied the skill with the parent and had the parent actually prepare for a future event, anticipating what was going to happen and then being able to address the difficulties by coming out with some solutions, some options that she could use. Dawn is amazing, an amazing parent, and she’s not alone. In fact, she’s not the only parent who has had this struggle with a child who has behaviors that drive their parents crazy, driving them absolutely nuts. And that actually speaks to sometimes the challenges that children have exceed a parent’s ability to deal with. I get that. I totally get that.
You know, I have a sister, she has autistic children. And she’s a fantastic parent. Fantastic. But sometimes the challenges that these children present, they exceed her patience. They exceed her ability to work through them and she needs a reprieve. She needs respite, she needs a timeout from everything in order to regroup and then come back and work with her child. It does not mean she loves her child any less, and it doesn’t mean Dawn loves her child any less. It just means that sometimes children have challenges that are more difficult and this is not uncommon for parents out there who feel like, “Hey, I need to have it together. I’m the adult and I need to have this all figured out.”
You’re putting yourself under a lot of stress by having that mindset. Children are challenging, and it’s okay that they’re challenging. And you need to know your limitations and understand that you’re human, too, and you’re going through this process of being able to work through it. It’s absolutely true. I go through the same process myself. There are things sometimes that my child will do that, for me, are very difficult for me to just wrap my head around. “Why are you behaving this way? This is driving me crazy.” I get it. I totally get it.
And yet we become more effective as parents if we’re able to self-assess and work through these issues and even apply these skills to ourselves and apply Preventive Teaching. So last week we used Preventive Teaching to help her child follow through schoolwork. This week, later on, we were able to use this skill to help Dawn deal with the upcoming behaviors that she knew she was going to experience with her son who has these stemming behaviors, these noises that drive her crazy. Dawn, during our evaluation, did state that in the morning she’s fine. It just seems that as the day goes on and she consistently hears these noises and this behavior is manifest there, that she just started to become unraveled near the end of the day, which I am sure every parent can understand.
So that’s how you use it. Now, that covers the two initial things that I wanted to talk about in this podcast. The first thing was that we went over the steps so you understood them. And the second one was how we flipped the script and how we actually use Preventive Teaching for our parent and how our parent was able to use those steps in preparing them for a future event that they would find challenging. That’s exactly what Preventive Teaching is. Now, the third thing that I said we would cover is coaching. Now, this was done through coaching. As you can tell it’s so individualized for the parent and for the child and for the specific situations. This is what coaching does.
Everything that I’m teaching you right here is available on the Smarter Parenting website. You can find it there and it’s free. You can look up anything you want to, and you can learn these steps. You can learn these skills. In fact, we provide a lot of information there. The difference between doing it that way and having a coach who will guide you through the process is that the coach can really help you fine-tune all those skills to your specific situation.
Dawn is a very gregarious person. She has a red personality. She’s very focused, she’s very smart, intelligent, and she could have gone to the Smarter Parenting website to learn all these skills and she could pick them up fairly quickly.
What coaching did though was fine-tune it. Coaching helped us narrow down what it is that we could do with these skills to her specific situation. And what it also does is it saves her all the trial and error by being able to really, really uber focus on the issues at hand. It saved her time, saved her energy. So I am here. In fact, coaching through Smarter Parenting will guide you through this whole process to help you know exactly how we can address these issues. And believe me, the coaching process is one of those things where I, as a coach, will be able to see things differently because I’m outside of that realm and I can make evaluations and give suggestions that you have probably not thought about.
Now, this podcast is also super helpful. I know, because I’ve received comments from parents who’ve been able to implement some of these skills. However, how better would it be if we would be able to communicate, talk about these things. So you can sign up for your free initial coaching session, which is on the Smarter Parenting website. If you jump over to SmarterParenting.com you’ll see a link in the menu bar above everything on the homepage that says coaching. If you click on that, you can sign up for your first coaching session, which is free, and there we can address these things on an individual basis.
What I did with Dawn is something that you can learn from and that you can apply definitely. What I can do with you through coaching will be 10 times more powerful because we’re talking about you. We’re talking about your child. And we’re talking about the needs that you are trying to address. So that’s my plug for coaching. I can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been over the last couple of weeks to work with a lot of parents through the coaching process. There’s so much going on in the world and I just want to say good job to all the parents out there who are really pushing through all of this in order to help their children be successful.
It’s quite a task and it’s not an easy task either. And so I see you, I hear you, I understand you, which is why I am here sharing this podcast with you because I want you to be able to know all of this. I really want parents to be successful in what they’re doing and in raising healthy and happy children, especially during this time. We want them to be resilient. So that’s me with Dawn. Actually, this is kind of part two I guess, of us following through with Dawn. And we’re going to do another follow-up with Preventive Teaching with Dawn in the next podcast episode.
So stay tuned because there’s more that is going on with Dawn and with her son and with Preventive Teaching, and you see the power of just one skill, right? It’s pretty powerful. So that’s it for me. If you haven’t listened to the previous podcast, please jump back and listen to it. You can get more information on Dawn, how she implemented this skill with her child. This episode obviously, dealt with Dawn using it on herself and being able to use Preventive Teaching to help get her the outcome that she wanted for her own life.
All right, sign up for coaching. I’m here. I’m excited to talk to you and I will talk to you later. All right, bye.
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