Behavioral pediatrics is the profession of helping address a behavioral issue of a child, age 17 or younger. Addressing problem behavior is relatively straight forward when applying the research of behavior science. This is typically done through behavioral consultations with the parent, who make minor changes in the home. This is done in a progressive fashion, addressing the most serious behavior problems initially, then the less serious, and finally the minor irritating behaviors. This is a process that generally takes 8-10 weeks.
At first, a “shallow” change is accomplished, where the child does what is expected for a specific reward. The reward is phased out as parent approval and the natural positive aspects of the improved behavior become more potent. After a while, a “deep” change takes place, where the child does the improved behavior (doesn’t do the problem behavior) because it “works” for him or her. The natural payoffs of the improved behavior, including smiles from parents, keeps the good behavior going.
From the very start of this process, your child attitude begins to improve, and everyone in the home is happier.