Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
When I was in grad school a million years ago, one of our professors always used the analogy of wearing hats to describe what role you are filling at the moment. So my friend (who I want to be like when I grow up) brought a bunch of hats to class one day and we were all decked out when our professor walked in. I think she enjoyed it. We got As in the class. Probably. Maybe. Questionable.
When my firstborn was still a little bitty, I found myself wearing two conflicting hats: Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Mom. My Little hadn’t been feeling her best and somehow forgot all we learned through sleep training when she was a wee infant.
My BCBA hat said, do you want to reinforce the behavior of screaming after you put her in her bed for a nap? My Mom hat said, how can you let your sweet girl scream when you know she doesn’t feel good? Also, I have talking hats. Think Harry Potter.
In the end, my Mom hat won out. Sometimes you just have to use your extraneous knowledge. There were extra factors at play that affected the normal contingency we had in place. Those extra factors of not feeling so good = Mom hat for the win.
We have to look at the WHOLE picture in making decisions for our children. S Thank goodness our science of behavior accounts for that with something called setting events.
Outside factors MUST be considered when making day to day decisions regarding kids. We can be firm and stick to our guns and be consistent and all those "good parenting" things, or we can let that mushy Mom hat takeover. Mushy Mom hat for the win! Things to consider:
- Are they feeling okay?
- Did they stay with one parent or the other last night?
- Did they get enough sleep?
- Was there a change in their routine? A change in medication?
- Is it a full moon? (This one is wacky and in no way scientific, but elementary school teachers swear by it.)
- Any number of other things to consider….
We want the best for our children and for our clients. Lucky for them, we know how to make that happen by taking in all the information available to us and making informed decisions.