Many child developmental professional will advise parents to ignore children’s bad behavior and reward their good. As most parent’s know, this is sometimes easier said than done. After all, bad behavior can be so irritating that it is difficult to ignore.
Some parents might reject to ignore bad behavior because they see it, as their responsibility to correct the child’s misbehavior. Ignoring it may seem like tolerating if not rewarding it and thus parents feel like they are not correcting.
According to different studies, when a child is calling for attention and gets it (both in good and negative cases) he is more likely to repeat the conduct. Therefore, different specialist recommends ignoring bad conducts while implementing the planned ignoring strategy.
What is Planned Ignoring?
Planned ignoring is a discipline technique that involves ignoring completely your children acts out of negative behavior, not even talking to him to call him out. For example, if you’re having a family meal and your child is bouncing up and down on his seat, you could leave him out of the conversation and not look at him until he stops. When he stops, you could say, ‘I love it when you sit still on your chair at dinner. Why don’t you tell us what you did at school today?’.
The key is to reward your child with lots of attention when he’s behaving well – but don’t give him any attention when he behaves badly. By consistently paying and withholding attention like this, you can help shape your child’s behavior.
Tips to Implement the Planned Ignoring Technique:
- Completely ignore. Don’t look at your child or say anything while he’s misbehaving. Glances, smiles or even frowns can be rewarding. Saying ‘I am ignoring you!’ is not ignoring. Where it’s safe and practical, walk away from your child while he’s behaving badly.
- Start ignoring when the behavior starts. Stop ignoring when the behavior has been stopped for a while. This might mean 20 seconds of ignoring for a toddler and a few minutes of ignoring for older children. You can respond again when your child stops misbehaving.
- Distract yourself if you think you’ll find it hard to ignore your child. You could put on some music, count in your head or plan your shopping list. Some simple breathing exercises can also help you feel in control and stay calm.
- Pay attention to the behavior you want to see instead of the behavior you’re ignoring. This makes planned ignoring work better.
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