Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday's Training Tip: Praise the Positive

Thanks for Coming By! Tuesday is the day that I have dedicated to tips for training your children that you can put into practice RIGHT NOW!

My tip for today seems simple, but it doesn't always occur to us "in the heat of the moment". When your child is throwing a tantrum, or doing the very thing you have cautioned against for the millionth time, take a deep breath. And then praise the opposite behavior. You will be amazed at the results that you get, and the motivation that will drive your child to exhibit more pleasing behaviors.

For example, your child is whining. You have told them and told them to stop whining! First you have strongly admonished them. Next, you have punished. Finally, at your wits end, you have moved on to simply ignoring them. Why aren't they getting it?

Try this:
Next time your child is driving you crazy, find the one moment where they are not whining. Praise the heck out of them in whatever way you can find! "Oh Suzie Shmoozy, I love the way you kept a frown off your face! You were so kind when you remained silent instead of whining. I love the way you spoke with a kind tone of voice to me. It made my heart so glad when you tried to tell me what you wanted in your big girl voice." And so on, and so on. In your praise, build in examples of appropriate tone as well as stated expectations.

Why it Works:
Children want to please you. They want to meet your expectations. They just don't always know how. Remember, your child has only been on this planet "x" amount of times, and only have "x" amount of experiences to draw on. If they have limited experiences, or conflicting outcomes with those experiences, they will be less likely to know how to respond. By showing them positive outcomes for positive behaviors, you are building a framework for your child.

Choose one area to try this in. Don't go crazy- just pick one. . . Commit to really trying it, and let me know how it goes!

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