Hey, hey! Welcome to another episode of The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast. Okay, today’s going to be a SUPER fun episode, but I have to admit: I’m slightly nervous about it. Today I’m sharing my #1 pet peeve in the online parenting space and, boy, it’s a doozy. And I’m a bit nervous about it because I do like to get on my soapbox and rant about the things I feel strongly about and am passionate about, and this pet peeve is a big one! But I want you to know that this episode is not an opportunity for me to burn off some steam. No, I’m hopping on this soapbox because you desperately need to hear what I have to say. Because these so-called behavior experts online (or anyone online for that matter) may potentially be giving you the WRONG advice that could make your child’s behavior WORSE. And I can’t sit back and watch this happen to you, friend.
And throughout the episode I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of the 1:1 virtual support I am opening my doors up for to provide to parents who live in Alabama. Go to www.bit.ly/workwithlauralynn to learn more and to sign up for a free clarity call to see if us working together would be a good fit.
This episode is going to be a good one. So, grab your skinny vanilla latte and envision us sitting and chatting together at your favorite coffee shop, because this episode will make you feel like two friends chatting over coffee. It’ll be fabulous. Let’s go to the show.
This soapbox that I’m jumping on today, my #1 pet peeve in the online parenting space are the so-called “behavior experts.” I’m not talking about people who have licenses, who have certifications to have the knowledge AND practice of behavior.
And here’s why it gets me fired up. Here’s why it gets me on my soapbox. And why I’m a bit nervous talking about this is because I am being completely raw with you right now. I’ve seen time and again these so-called behavior experts or even other parents give very specific parenting advice to parents who have posted in online groups asking for advice for a specific situation related to unwanted problem behavior.
I’ve seen parents ask for sleep help, for potty training help, for help with tantrums and bullying and biting and hitting and a number of other behaviors in the online space.
Herein is where the problem lies: I’ve seen these behavior experts give these genuinely concerned parents behavior advice, with limited information about the specific situation, with limited information about the child’s history, with limited information with how the parent typically responds, with limited information in what the environment is like, with limited information on what medications the child may be on and the potential side effects that those medications could have, and I could go on here.
And guess what peeps, these “behavior experts” have given advice and recommendations that could actually make the behavior worse…. And the worst part? These behavior experts don’t even know it, but they keep preaching the same darn thing to other parents.
Perfect example, and one I’ve seen before, is when a child does some sort of unwanted inappropriate behavior, let’s say hitting, and the advice that the “expert” gives is to draw close to the child, ask her what’s wrong, talk about feelings right then and there.
Sometimes kids engage in behaviors in order to get attention. So, if a kid is hitting to get attention and you’ve just provided A LOT of attention for that behavior, guess what. That behavior will continue. It won’t stop. Providing all of the coddling won’t make the hitting go away. It’ll only reinforce it and increase it.
Yeah, so that behavior expert doesn’t always know what she’s talking about.
So, as parents, we need to advocate for ourselves. We need to advocate for our families. We need to advocate for our own kids. We need to take the lead in this and be smart about who we are asking advice from.
So how do we do that? How do we know who to trust? How do we know who is the real-deal and who is just pretending?
Ask what that person’s background is. Ask what their education is. What’s their training? What certifications or licenses do they have? What populations have they worked with? What settings have they worked in? Answering these questions will help us distinguish who we should be going to for parenting advice.
As parents, it’s hard. It’s hard to ask for advice and seek help and be vulnerable, and it’s really easy to jump on social media to do it there because it’s simply online, but we need to be careful about who we are asking advice from.
One of the things I really aim for is to make your parenting life easier and coming to you virtually is one way of doing just that.
If you live in Alabama and you’re curious what working with a BCBA is like or how they can help me, jump on a free clarity call with me, you can find an appointment here: www.bit.ly/workwithlauralynn. It’s free. It’s easy. And I’ll help put your mind at ease.
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