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When you can understand why behavior happens, it is easier to take steps to prevent it. Sometimes though, it can be hard to figure out why behavior happens. In those cases, Siope Kinikini recommends looking at five things that could have contributed to the meltdown.

Are they sleepy? Are they getting enough good sleep?

Are they hungry? Are they eating a healthy diet? 

Do they have a disability?

Was there a change in their environment?

Was there an interruption to their schedule?

Understanding that these things could lead to tantrums allows you to make changes before the tantrums even happen. 

If they’re tired, you could have them do quiet time, nap, or watch a TV show. If they are hungry, you could give them a snack and set up a snack schedule. If they have a hard time processing things due to a disability, you could provide them with space and understanding that allows them not to become overwhelmed. If there is a change in the environment, you can acknowledge that it can be difficult and help prepare them before changes happen. If there’s an interruption to the schedule, you can reduce interruptions, set a timer for transitions, or finish certain tasks.

All of these things take less work and energy than dealing with a tantrum once it’s begun and allows you to have the energy to spend on creating a relationship. If you’re not spending as much time dealing with tantrums, you can play a game, or read a book, or go out with friends.

The ABC’s of Behavior is incredibly powerful in helping you understand your child. It’s even more powerful when applied to yourself. You can use the ABC’s of Behavior to determine how you react to certain behaviors and what you can do to change it, you will be happier and more in control of situations.

Applying the ABC’s of Behavior to ourselves can be uncomfortable. If you are struggling to figure out your antecedents, we invite you to sign up for a free parenting coaching mini-session.  Our coaching sessions are a judgment-free zone where we help you figure out individual solutions.

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Specific Diagnosis ADHD #87: Why children act up: Part 2