by Linda Michie, Executive Director and Founder at Wishing Well Adoption & Family Services
So many parents tell me that they spend their days telling their children “don’t do this”, “stop that”, “cut it out or you’re going to your room”. This is a steady stream of negative attention that teaches our children if they want our attention they should do something wrong to get it.
Even harder to swallow is that just as many parents tell me that if their child behaves badly enough they will stop what they’re doing to yell at and punish their children. Now they’ve really got our attention!
Paying attention to negative behaviors teaches children to get attention by using negative behaviors.
Try this: Cut it out.
I mean it. Cut this habit right out of your parenting repertoire. Really just stop doing it today and never go back.
Instead, every time you see your child playing or working nicely, stop what you’re doing, smile at them, and tell them that you love to see this. Point it out. Praise it. Don’t go overboard, just show them that you are pleased.
We can teach our children to get attention by using positive behaviors.
This practice takes a few seconds every once in a while and is an enormous investment in your future, your child’s future, and for generations down your family line. Think of the implications of people doing good things for attention instead of bad. There could be a revolution!
But what if your child doesn’t play nicely very often? What if he doesn’t know how to play nicely at all?
OK. You’ll have to sit down and teach him. This will take time. And you’ll have to watch more closely to find an opportunity to let him know how well he’s doing. Pleasing our parents is the first step to healthy self-esteem. We feel the pride we have in pleasing them, then transfer that pride into ourselves.
You will find more joy in your parenting when you see the positive behaviors increase.
Don’t get me wrong. There will always be a need for consequences. We’re going to talk more about that another day.
I wish you well with all your parenting.
Call (757) 739-2118 if you decide parenting coaching is your best bet and we’ll schedule an intake appointment for you.
Linda has worked in the child welfare field since 1999 and is a Licensed Child Placing Agent.
Wishing Well assists in domestic adoptions in the state of Virginia, and provides parenting coaching, and supervised visitation in Virginia Beach, VA.
Latest posts by Linda Michie (see all)
- …More on Home Assessments, Custody Investigations, and Home Studies - February 1, 2019
- Supervised Visitation Details - December 10, 2018
- The Problem of Overpraising - September 6, 2018