Saturday, May 29, 2021

Helping parents with descriptive praises and active ignoring to shape behaviours

One of the main traps for many parents is that we tend to pay too much attention on the unwanted behaviours, and not enough attention on the wanted behaviors. When they misbehave, we zoom into that and react. When they behave, we zoom out and take less notice. 

What we focus on and pay more attention to, will tend to be more reinforced.

So for us to “reshape” the behaviours towards the more preferred ones, we must consider shifting our attention more towards the wanted behaviours, and less attention on the unwanted behaviours.

How do we do this?

1. By descriptive praises and acknowledgement when they do well like, thank you so much for being kind to your brother. Thank you so much for playing so well with each other. Good boy for doing your homework.

2. Active ignoring for those unwanted behaviours e.g. nagging. This is obviously not appropriate for dangerous behaviours. 

Having said that, setting clear appropriate rules and boundaries with consequences whether natural or “engineered”, are still very important. 

Do you struggle with the above?

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