myHana Blog

Original and curated information about autism and related conditions.

The 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 Principle

Imagine a time when your child was being difficult to work with, rigid, or stuck. Perhaps, your son or daughter was struggling to get ready for school, wouldn’t to wake up, wouldn’t get dressed, refused to eat breakfast, and before you know it the bus had come and gone. Frustrating right? Just breathe. We’re about to make your life a whole lot easier!

The idea behind the 80/20 principle is to first seek to understand what issue is filling the processing funnel of your child. Once you know or understand what wrong, you can compromise by going 20% of the way to help your child accomplish the remaining 80%.

Let’s lay out two scenarios; first, where you demand 100% from your child and second, you compromise to get to the 100% mark.

Scenario 1: “Sam, if you don’t get out of bed right now, you’re going to miss the bus and be late
to school!” Pause. I already know what you’re thinking. This is totally going to work. WRONG! Rarely if
ever does this authoritative “drill sergeant” approach work. End result = 0%.

Scenario 2: “Sam, I know it’s early. If I let you sleep in for 10 more minutes can you get up for
the day so you’re not late to class?” Pause. A bit more promising, right? End result = 100%.

There are a million and one ways that this principle can be put into practice. Maybe your big struggle has to do with getting the chores done. Instead of an iron fist approach where you demand 100% no questions asked, lend a hand next time and help get the ball rolling. Sometimes a little momentum is all you need.

Hopefully, the biggest takeaway from this article is that you can eliminate a lot of stress by working withyour child instead of demanding work from them. Remember, work in = work out.

P.S. Don’t feel like you always have to compromise. Sometimes, compromising won’t be an option. We trust you will use your best judgement and intuition to get the most out of this approach!

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