As I have mentioned before, Tiara is known to whip off her top if she is in the dress section of a store and see’s something fabulous she must try on immediately. Well, the problem of taking off her clothes has escalated and is now officially considered ” a behavior” that needs to be stopped and fast. In working with numerous behaviorists over the years I have learned the appropriate approach to dealing with these behaviors. Things like isolating the behavior, looking at the antecedent to the behavior, the response the behavior elicits and what Tiara gains by engaging in the behavior.
Personally I have never enjoyed working with any behaviorists and I hate having to use positive reinforcement, and following the steps above but it is the only thing that works with Tiara, so I am forced to use this method. Ugh. I would rather glare my kids down, or yell and scream, but sadly that won’t work with TT, it only makes her act worse. Bummer.
So what I realized is that Tiara takes off her shirt for attention, what a news flash Tiffani. Clearly I don’t need a law degree, a mom degree or a degree in anything to figure this one out. When we all look at her and say “put on your shirt” and make a big fuss over her being half naked she is happy and the behavior is a success.
Recently we haven’t given her enough attention when she takes off her shirt so she has moved to stripping down totally naked. Let’s just say Tabitha and Trinity go instantly insane and freak out. They start yelling at her how gross she is, Trinity runs to close the curtains, Tabitha tries to wrestle clothes back on her and basically all the attention moves to Tiara for at least 10 minutes. Again she wins with the bad behavior.
Sometimes I am a little slow or truth be told, maybe I was enjoying being in denial about this outrageous behavior. Unfortunately, it has gotten so out of hand, I had to come up with a plan and quick. Now remember once you work on a behavior it gets worse before it gets better, gotta love that part.
Friday I told everyone except Tiara of the new plan.
“If Tiara takes off any of her clothes in the house we are not going to yell, scream, laugh, or act surprised. We are going to totally ignore her. Once she starts to put her clothes back on, we over praise her and tell her how amazing she is.”
The plan started with a bang on Saturday morning. Tiara had already taken her meds and eaten breakfast. Trinity was at art and Tabitha just woke up. She walked into the kitchen as was talking to me about the night before when Tiara decided she needed more attention. She took off her shirt and when we ignored her she took off her diaper and pants. We continued to ignore her and kept talking as if everything was normal. Since she wasn’t get her normal response she decided she needed to do more. At this point she started following right behind Tabitha while completely invading her personal space. Tabitha kept trying to get away but Tiara would not give up. Finally Tabitha got to her room and closed the door. Tiara continued to walk around the house naked trying to get someone’s attention but it wasn’t working. Finally after 20 minutes she walked up to me with a diaper in her hand and said. “diaper, help?”
I responded with my happiest, fakest, most positive reinforcement voice, “Good Job getting dressed Tiara, let me help you. Good Job, thank you!”
So we haven’t really left the house much since Friday and the commencement of our behavior modification program because I knew that ignoring the nudity in public wasn’t an option so we have been housebound most of the weekend. Thank goodness it rained most of the weekend.
The good news is that I think the behavior is finally getting better. Yes, we had to eat Sunday night dinner with her butt naked but today we only had one episode so I am praying the worst of it is over and we may be able to resume our normal outing schedule soon.
Have a great Tuesday!
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