Are you constantly yelling at your kids? Do you find yourself reminding them over and over again to stop doing things they shouldn’t be doing? Try ignoring! Now I know this is easier said than done so read on for some helpful tips.
Truly ignore the behavior. This means, don’t say anything. Also don’t make eye contact because even that can be enough attention to cause the behavior to continue in the future. I typically tell caregivers to act as if their child isn’t doing anything. Turn away and walk away if needed. Pretend to read a magazine or write something down. Do anything to prevent yourself from looking at your child misbehaving.
Safety is key. While ignoring you still want to ensure your child stays safe. This can be tricky when you are trying to ignore what they are doing. Try to provide as little attention as possible while ensuring their safety. For example, if they are climbing on the couch, you could guide them to the floor without making eye contact or saying anything. If they continue to try to climb back on the couch, try blocking their access to the couch by standing in their way. But remember to do so without looking at them or saying anything.
You may get an extinction burst. This means the behavior may get worse before it gets better but keep ignoring and it will decrease. If it does increase at first that just means you have figured out why he does things you don’t want him to, to get your attention. Check out my blogs on attending and reinforcing for more ideas. If this seems like something you would like to more information about, check out our purposeful parenting online trainings here.