It is difficult to modify your child’s behavior through verbal interactions alone. Believe it or not, yelling does not solve problems, it makes them worse. Many behaviors can be shaped by withdrawing attention. Using “Selective Ignoring” is a critical parenting skill. We can teach our kids how to behave through our own actions/behavior. This is very challenging to accomplish on your own, but can be done if performed properly.
1. Identifying the behaviors or qualities you would like to diminish.
2. Be sure the function of your child’s behavior is attention seeking. In other words, the child must be yelling, whining, etc to get a reaction from you; the parents. A mental health assessment by a qualified counselor can help with this step.
3. It is encouraged that you move away from your child, play with a different toy, engage in your own household projects/tasks (cooking, dishes, laundry, etc). Be sure not to look at your child or talk to your child as both of these behaviors are attention seeking.
4. Follow through to the end of your child’s problematic behavior. When ignoring these behaviors, they will get worse before they get better. If you give in to the problem behavior, your child will learn to escalate to a higher level of disruptiveness the next time around.
5. Once you see good behavior (your still watching for that right?) return to Strategic Attention.
If your child’s problem behavior does not decrease with these recommendations, it is time for a consultation with a qualified Mental Health professional for personal parenting coaching tips specific to your family.
(Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, 1995)