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A Kid Doing Good!
tells Joey to stop running in the kitchen.
Next mom is telling Joey to stop running in the living room. Now
mom is yelling at Joey to stop running through the rest of the house and
she is about to loose it with him...
parents of young children are yelling and spanking because they do not
know other ways to get their children to mind their words.
Research shows however, that yelling and spanking often creates new
problems. Children who are
continually shouted at or spanked tend to be more aggressive in the
playground, have less developed problem-solving skills and lower
when parents use other skills for gaining compliance and co-operation,
children tend to be better adjusted, play more co-operatively and respond
to their parents' words.
how it works:
there are two dogs inside of you – one good and the other bad. Now
imagine they are fighting constantly.
Which one will win the fight? The one you feed! Why, because you
are strengthening it.
behaviour works the same way. Feed the negative and you will increase this
behaviour. Feed the positive and you will see more positive behaviour. And
the food of behaviour is your attention.
however, many parents focus on catching children when they are
misbehaving. They feed the wrong dog. They yell stop this and stop that!
This has to change. The main focus must not be on catching misbehaviour.
The focus must be on catching children doing things right.
tries something different. As Joey is running she tells him to stop
running and to play quietly with his lego set in the family room. As Joey
is playing quietly, mom soon goes over to him and simply mentions how
nicely he is playing. Joey
continues to play quietly and several minutes later, mom goes to him and
mentions it again. They smile at each other and mom gives Joey a hug.
truth of the matter is that Joey was actually a good listener and had
always been a good listener. Every
time mom told him where to stop running, he did, he just went on to
cannot assume that children will automatically know what to do, when we
tell them what not to do. Tell your child directly what you expect and
follow it up with feedback when they do it. Feedback is how you give
attention to feed behaviour.
feedback, all you have to do is mention the very behaviour the child is
doing. You are playing quietly... You ate your broccoli... You
shared your toy. If you
forget to mention it as the behaviour is occurring, mention it later, like
at bedtime. You
put the crayons away this afternoon, all by yourself!
key is not to withhold feedback, but to provide it for appropriate
behaviour. Whenever you see
your child doing something you would like to see repeated, provide
is now in bed. Both Joey and Mom feel good about themselves and each
other. The home is calm. Mom is relaxing with a cup of tea.
Catch a kid doing good… and tell them! You’ll both be glad you did.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
is a child-behaviour expert, a social worker, and the author of Raising
Kids Without Raising Cane. Gary not only helps people get along or feel
better about themselves, but also enjoys an extensive career in public
speaking. He provides insight on issues ranging from child behaviour
management and development; to family life; to socially responsible
business development. Courts in Ontario, Canada consider Gary an expert on
matters pertaining to child development, custody and access,
family/marital therapy and social work.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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