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Pay Attention to the Good Stuff

Pay Attention to the Good Stuff | Parent Like a Professional

As parents, it can be easy to get swept up in the craziness of day-to-day life.  Sometimes, for this reason, we miss opportunities to acknowledge the good decisions that our kids make. When we do this too much, our children will begin to act out to get our attention, which we then give to them because we have to. 

When your child picks up a book and quietly reads to himself, you silently cheer to yourself and continue making dinner or doing work. 

When your child pulls his brother’s hair, you have to pay attention in order to address the problem. 

Siblings fighting misbehaving

What we teach our children is: behave well and make good choices, and you get no attention.  But misbehave or make bad choices, and you DO get attention (because even negative attention is better than no attention at all).  As a result, our children will start misbehaving more (Read: How to Deal with a Child Who is Acting Out). 

If you can outwardly acknowledge your child for the good choices (instead of the silent internal cheer), you’ll actually start to see the good behaviors happen more frequently.

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