Thoughtful Thursday – Antecedents

When analyzing behavior in order to change it, one basic approach is to keep data on what is commonly referred to as “ABC.”   ABC stands for antecedent, behavior, and consequence.  It could be said that there is a reason for any behavior, good or bad, and finding the cause of that behavior proves helpful in increasing or decreasing the behavior.

There are many different approaches to behavior modification, but taking this ABC approach, I’ d like to discuss “A” specifically.

If you can find a specific antecedent to any unwanted behavior, you could control that and avoid the behavior all together.  I am sure many will agree that being able to control what happens before a negative behavior even has a chance to begin would be the best possible scenario in regards to dealing with your child’s behavior.  How can it be done?

Of course each child is different, but there are antecedents that occur in the lives of many children and can sometimes be avoided.  Here are a few examples:

1. boredom:  often this is when your child begins the “testing” game

2. unpredictability from either the people around them or their schedule

3.  lacking positive attention

There are many more antecedents, and I encourage you to look out for some with your own children.  Punishments are more effective when they come less often.


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