Poor behavior just doesn’t happen. Rather it’s the result of some type of action. Understanding what causes of negative behavior allows you to teach your child how to handle their behavior.
For all poor behavior, there is an antecedent behavior, something that set the child off. Often a child are not able to recognize the events that caused them to act out or exhibit poor behavior. For example, they might not realize the reason they hit their sibling was that their sibling stuck out their tongue at them.
Children with oppositional defiant behavior struggle with authority, boundaries, and consequences. Having ODD parenting strategies in place will help deal with these negative behaviors and make managing oppositional defiant disorder possible.
When a child can understand the 3 components of the ABC’s of Behavior–Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence–it becomes easier to address the behavior that needs to be changed.
Before you introduce this skill to your child, watch the lesson video, and make sure you are comfortable with the skill. Once comfortable, watch it with your child and help them understand that behaviors just don’t occur.
When using this skill with children who have oppositional defiant behavior, here are some tips.
Be sure that your child understands the idea that behaviors are preceded by thoughts or actions. This skill won’t be effective unless they recognize this.
Discuss with your child the “antecedents” to their behavior and write them down. Every few weeks, review the list to gauge how your child is doing. Remove things from the list when they are no longer a problem and add new antecedents as they arise.
Explore options for new behaviors when antecedent behavior happens. Next to the antecedent, write the new behavior. Place this information where your child will see it.
Remember it is essential to take the time to discuss what caused the behavior. This is most helpful when done at a time where both you and your child are calm. For some children, it is useful to see the ABC’s diagramed out.
The goal of using the ABC’s of Behavior is to help your child with ODD better understand that behaviors just don’t happen. They have control of situations and their responses. It will take time for them to recognize their antecedents. Keep at it, and eventually, your child will be able to identify and change their negative behavior before it becomes a problem.
SmarterParenting.com provides additional ODD help for parents.