How Kids Learn
Julie Almquist, M.S., LMHP Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health
This is a fundamental part of what we do. It's to teach parents how kids learn.
It doesn't matter what the age is, it doesn't matter what the concern is, or what has brought them into the office.
This is fundamental to every parenting situation.
If you can just get this one thing down, its repetition, so, doing, doing, doing, followed by experiential contrast.
What I mean by that is, your son or daughter engages in a behavior and following that behavior they experience something.
If it's a behavior that we like, they experience good stuff. If it's a behavior that inappropriate, they experience not so good stuff.
The more contrast they have in their life between the good stuff they experience when they're behaving well and the not so good stuff they experience when they're not behaving well, the faster they get what you're trying to teach them.
I think one of the things that frustrate parents so much is that we feel like our language should be making an impact on behavior.
Typically, that's not what impacts child behavior and sometimes not even adult behavior.
That's why lecturing doesn't work, that's why nagging doesn't work, and typically ends up just frustrating parents and frustrating kids, because parents walk away from those situations thinking, we had a great talk.
It went really, really well. I think he heard me and then tomorrow, Johnny does the same behavior he did yesterday.
If you really want to make an impact on behavior, it has to have that experiential component.
It has to matter to them in some way.
When no is the only thing you have to use, it starts to become background noise and if that's all the kid ever hears, they start to ignore that and parents get frustrated.
Instead of doing something else, they say no louder or more frequently and now they're frustrated.
When our emotions are getting the best of us, now we're ineffective as parents, because it's coming from an emotional place and not from a place of teaching.
How kids learn is a process that is fundamental to every parenting situation. Julie Almquist, M.S., LIMHP, Therapist at Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, explains how parents can help their kids learn and what mistakes parents often make.