WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CATCH A SPOUSE OR CHILD DOING SOMETHING GOOD? Seems like it should be a simple answer but ….not always! Read what Dr. Barry Lubetkin has to offer in the way of good communication and parenting skills:
“The research is unambiguous and definitive…….Positive reinforcement is far superior to negative reinforcement (punishment), when the goal is to influence and strengthen another’s behavior. And yet despite this fact,we human beings continue to yell,humiliate,undercut and generally disparage others when they engage in a behavior or habit that we find undesirable or annoying.
Witness the mother who continues to yell at the child who curses out loud. The child continues to curse and is often reacting to the mothers attention even though it is negative. Witness the wife who continuously shames her husband each time he leaves his dirty clothing out without bringing it to the laundry. More often then not her negative reaction does not diminish the sloppy behavior at all, but simply leads to anger and passive aggressive behavior.
But what would the results be if that same mother chose to hug and praise the child when 10 minutes elapse without cursing……..and do it again 10 more minutes later! And what if the wife thanked the husband immediately after he picked up his socks and repeated that praise whenever he attempted (even if not completely successful) behaving in a less slovenly manner. If positive reinforcement is given immediately and consistently after a desired behavior is demonstrated, it will strengthen the probability of that behavior occurring again.
“Catching a child being good” has been a mainstay of child behavior therapy for many years,so it is surprising how few parents practice it. Here’s an assignment…..choose one behavior or bad habit that your child or partner continues to do and wait 10 minutes for it not to occur and then immediately thank and praise them for not doing it. Repeat every 10 to 30 minutes or when appropriate, and watch that bad habit begin to diminish! ” Email me at IBT104@aol.com with your results!