Psst…Hey Parents -Here Is How You Catch Your Kids (Being Good)

Most parents are by nature able to find just about as many things wrong with their children as you want them to. Its easy to spot your kids leaving the lights on, leaving clothes on the floor, spilling capri suns, getting their outfit dirty, passing gas in church, etc…you know the drill.In the last 23 years or so I would estimate that I have trained more than 5,000 parents on how to do the opposite. How to catch them being good. Its a matter of retraining the brain and nothing more, it simply requires carving a new path in those neurotransmitters and paving the way for new thinking. Why bother doing this, you may ask? Here are some of the best reasons to start catching your kid being good- and I guarentee they will come true or your money back!

1- Your child will develop a healthy self-esteem from you and not feel like you only talk to them when they did wrong.

2-You will find that you will have a much easier time giving the negative feedback, when they have had soem good feedback sandwiched around it.

3-Your child will develop a desire to continue in the positive behavior, because just like us adults, they like to get praise.

4-You will find that the yelling or arguing in the house will go down at an incredible pace.

5-Children like adults, will develop behavioral patterns based on the feedback they get. For example, if I want my son to clean his room more often, I make a big deal of it on the few times when he does. You will see that the room will stay much cleaner as long as the praise keeps coming. Therefore, as a parent you can literally choose a behavior you want to see more of, and start hitting the kid with praise when they do it. Now you have started a positive pattern of behavior!

You dont eliminate constructive feedback, you just change the ratios at when you give the positive and when you give the negative. This part is critical so please pay attention! Most parents are dispensing negative feedback to their children at a ratio of about 12 negatives to each positvie comment. The goal for you to see a dramatic change in your child is to flip that around to somewhere closer to 8-10 postives for every 1 negative comment. Seem impossible? Its so simple if you look for it. Here is an example of how you may say 3 positive things to your child, all the while giving them feedback because they were late from their night out with their middle school friends bowling-

{Hey Johnny! How did you bowl tonite? Wow- a 135? Thats great! You always were a good bowler. You look so handsome too, I am so glad you took care of those new jeans without getting them all stained. By the way, you remember we discussed you being home by 9 right? Well its 9:45 so you didnt quite make it, that means you lose your privilege to go out any more this weekend, remember? I know its hard John, but you just have to make better decisions on things like this so you will keep your options open. Anyhow, I am glad you are home safe, why dont you head up to bed, and get to sleep we have that outing tomorrow at the beach, remember? The whole family. Good night! I Love you.}

Now, in that short time, you delivered several positive comments, you issue a consequence for breaking the agreement, and reinforced your son that you love him, all without yelling and screaming. If Johnny had bucked, you simply address one behavior at a time, calmly and talk it out . Not every time will be calm, but remember if someone loses control it better be them and not you!

This is the way to start changing your thinking and your words when interacting with your kids. I will post other ways and other similar topics as we go, so please make a comment about any topic you would like to see!


Author: (Don't Label My Kid! Coaching & Counseling Team)

Social Worker- Mental Health, Addictions, and Behavioral health- Leadership Educator-, Juvenile Justice. A variety of coaching. I have a great desire to help others make it through times that I myself have had to navigate. I understand the process, the pain,and the support needed. I, and the rest of my team all have both the formal education to coach others but more importantly we also have the life experience which allows us to relate to all the phases and hurdles that come with recovering from issues like depression, addiction, domestic violence, spiritual confusion, and much more. I feel that the combination of formal training and life experience allows us to meet those we help every point of need- in a real way.

4 thoughts on “Psst…Hey Parents -Here Is How You Catch Your Kids (Being Good)”

    1. Thanks so much and I really would like to hear how it is working for you and anyone else. I plan on introducing several new methods for parents that can save much heartache and really be effective. Hope you stay tuned!

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