Setting expectations ahead of time

One Mom explained how much better her son behaved when she went over her expectations for his behavior beforehand. For example, as they were driving to the park, she would go through what was going to happen:
  • We’re going to park our car by the playground.
  • We’ll hold hands when we walk through the parking lot to the playground.
  • You can play for 30 minutes.
  • I will give you a 5 minute warning before your time is up.
  • We will walk calmly back to the car.
She would ask him questions like “What will it look like when we’re walking back to the car?” “Will you be kicking and screaming?” When she helped him think through the situation ahead of time, she found he was much more likely to behave in appropriate ways.

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