Three tools all parents need. Final one!

Tool #3: Start Simple

We have covered a lot in these posts.

Now it's time to place your demand!

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This is when it’s time to really slow down and parent with intention. When you want to place a demand on your child, stop and think of the simplest way to begin. You want to start off the conversation with a connection between you and your child, and then gently ease into the demand.

For example, imagine walking into your child’s room to discover it has been destroyed. Your first instinct is likely to yell, “clean up this mess”. You’re beginning the conversation without being connected with your child and without being an ally to them. This will likely result in defiance, ignoring, and aggressiveness.

A simple fix to this problem is to introduce high-probability/low-probability demands. A high-probability demand is a demand that has a high probability that your child will do it. And a low-probability means that the child will not be likely to do it. If you start with a demand that a child will enjoy, you’re starting the conversation by being connected to them.

So in this example, instead of beginning with “clean up this mess”, try starting out with “could you show me your toy?”. You child will be thrilled to show you their toy! This is going to immediately connect the two of you and it gives you the opportunity to give them positive reinforcement for listening to instructions by saying, “wow, thank you!”.

Now you can gently move up the demand; “could you put this in the box?”. Since you’re already reinforcing obedience through praise and attention, there is a high probability that you’re child will do this. Make sure to reinforce again by giving praise; “wow, you’re the best!”.

Finally, you can move on to the demand you’ve wanted to say all along, “could you put all the toys in the box?”. Since you’ve made a connection with them all along, your child will want to be obedient to continue being connected to you. They’ll enjoy the attention and praise while you’ll enjoy them cleaning their room.

Success tip:

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Stay in rapport by looking for opportunities to praise you child’s efforts. Any effort that you child puts forth is worthy of attention! This will reinforce their effort and help them gain self-regulation skills!


These three tools are so effective and, if you stick with them and parent with intention, you’ll find great success with them! But believe it or not, these three are just the tip of the iceberg! Gain access to the rest of the tools for confident parenting and a child-centered approach by becoming a member of my Hand in Hand services. I can teach you the right approaches to creating obedient, resourceful, successful children!

Now, I want something from you! If you found of any of these brilliant (never mind, simple!!) tools helpful, please share these posts! 

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Your behaviour guide and coach, Stephanie Wicker-Campbell, has been supporting families just like yours for almost fifteen years! Teaching special needs children and studying early intensive behaviour intervention for over six years laid the foundation for her work with Simply Kids. Grounded in behaviour science, Stephanie's passion for counselling and developmental psychology play a big role in her coaching programs. Defining success by the progress of her clients, her goal is to no longer be needed. So, get in touch and work her out of a job!

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Stephanie Wicker