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If you are new here, welcome to The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast! I’m happy to have you! Today’s episode has been inspired by the many parents who wonder why their child behaves appropriately in one setting and then misbehaves in a different setting. In this episode, I talk about how changes in the environment can affect your child’s behavior.
You notice that your child functions really well at home: your child follows directions, plays nicely, is kind, etc. However, your child’s teacher reports about different behaviors in the classroom: not following directions, not sitting still, interacting poorly with other children, etc.
Or, it could be the reverse. Your child behaves really well at school but has a difficult time at home. This could be true for any environment: Sunday school, daycare, the park, a birthday party, or when one parent is home versus when two parents are home.
The environment is full of factors that can affect behavior. The amount of attention or the type of attention that your child receives can affect behavior. Whether there are lots of demands placed on your child or no demands placed on your child can affect behavior. The amount of people in a setting can affect behavior. Whether an environment has good structure and routine versus no structure and routine can affect behavior. Behavior can also be affected by whether preferred items, such as toys, are available and present or if they are out of sight or unavailable. Noises, loud noises or soft noises, can affect behavior. There are TONS of factors that can affect behavior.
If we step outside and it’s cold, we go back inside to grab a jacket. The same is true for our child’s behavior. If our child doesn’t receive attention in a specific environment, she may misbehave in order to receive that environment. But she may not have this problem in another environment because she is receiving that attention for her appropriate behavior in that environment.
Children engage in different behaviors or do different behaviors because there is something, the absence or the presence of something, that is influencing the way that they respond.
Like I always mention, knowledge is power. If you are questioning why your child behaves one way in one environment and a different way in another environment, stop and evaluate that similarities and difference about the two environments. How are they alike? How are they different? With this information you may learn something new about your child’s behavior and can then make changes to help your child function the best in all environments.
If you loved this episode, you’ll love the monthly webinars within The Parenting Clubhouse membership where I dive deep into the science of behavior. Come check it out at The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast.