Parents (USA)

If I change my parenting, when will my child change?

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If you curbed your negative bias today, it would take about three months to see a shift in your child’s behavior. But you will see some encouragin­g signs along the way:

BY WEEK 2, you’ll feel less resistance about shifting your negative bias.

BY WEEK 4, through overlearni­ng, you’ll have upped your appreciati­on-to-correction ratio and will notice some change in your kid’s behavior.

BY WEEK 6, your child will be consistent­ly better at the target behavior.

BY WEEK 8, you’ll be used to the way your child is complying more often than not. BY WEEK 12, the new behavior—yours and your child’s—will be establishe­d and solidified.

For children with severe difficulti­es, it might take up to four or five months to break bad habits. For typical kids, it could be as little as eight weeks. But if you stick with the strategy for long enough to notice change, it’s probably going to last. According to research (and my experience), these interventi­ons cause shifts that continue for six months, a year, even three years down the road. It might feel like a long haul to the three-month mark. But once you establish change, good behavior will become the new normal.

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