Parental Strategies


Our Services




While most people agree that positive reinforcement encourages desirable behavior and discourages undesirable behavior, it is important to work out a strong management plan that identifies a particular child’s problem areas. The behaviors should be specifically delineated so everyone knows what is expected and what is inappropriate and measurable so everyone can agree that the behavior occurred.

The clinicians at Scottsdale PBS help parents to become conscious of triggers (antecedents) of positive and negative behaviors.



Just as there are parental actions that “set off” tantrums or obstructive behavior, there are also parental actions that encourage and reinforce cooperation. These include:

  • Awareness and avoidance of the child’s personal triggers, e.g. hunger, fatigue, anxiety, crowds
  • Clarifying expectations before an activity that may be problematic
  • Providing countdowns for transitions, like leaving the playground or taking a bath
  • Providing a choice (not too many choices!) so the child feels empowered
  • Creating effective, immediate, appropriate consequences for misbehavior and sticking to them

Discussing effective consequences for misbehavior is an important aspect of learning parental strategies, one that the doctors can help you master. As is the case with your child, positive reinforcement will encourage you to continue your good psychological work. Your positive reinforcement will be seeing and enjoying the improvements in your child’s behavior.

Our team is attuned to the individual interactions between each particular parent and child and is adept at being flexible depending on the particular situation. There is no “one size fits all” in behavioral therapy, but the focus is on adapting tried and true methods to your specific circumstances.



It is all too easy for parents to make assumptions or, in the heat of the moment, to forget to avoid patterns that are known to trigger misbehavior. Common mistakes in parental behavior include:

  • Not making expectations clear and specific
  • Calling out instructions from a distance, instead of speaking them face-to-face
  • Transitioning without warning, particularly from an activity the child is enjoying
  • Asking too many questions that require too many quick decisions

Our team helps parents to alter their behavior patterns in order to help their child make appropriate changes with the least frustration and upheaval possible.


Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services
22555 N Miller Road, Suite 100
North Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone: 480-410-4040
Fax: 844-883-2535
Office Hours

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