This week was all about the Premack Principle.
Remember what that is? It's "First ___, then ____." Follow a regular plain old un-fun activity with something good.
First veggies, then chocolate. First homework, then screen time.
I found myself saying "First ____, then ____" ALL the time this week!
First buckle, then toys. (In the car seat)
First buckle, then snacks. (In the high chair)
First buckle, then wheeeee. (In the swing)
First sit, then toys. (In the bathtub)
Notice a pattern here? My Little wants her freeeeedom! Well, when she realizes that being restrained in these places (for safety reasons!)can lead to something good, she protests a lot less. Even when I forget to say it, I find it easier to get her in the car, in the highchair, wherever because I've said it SO many times before. She's getting the hang of things!
I've even overheard my sweet husband saying "First_____, then _____" when he didn't know I was listening. Score!
From the book, Parenting with Science:
Using the consistent language of “First _____, then ____” lets your child know that something good is coming and that they have some control over the situation. They can choose to engage in that first behavior (do your homework, get buckled in the car, eat your veggies) in order to get the then thing promised to them.
What behavior strategies did YOU use this week???
Interested in learning more behavior strategies for moms? Parenting with Science: Behavior Analysis Saves Mom’s Sanity is available now!
Leanne Page, MEd, BCBA