This book teaches frustrated, stressed-out parents that selectively ignoring certain behaviors can actually inspire positive changes in their kids.
With all the whining, complaining, begging, and negotiating, parenting can seem more like a chore than a pleasure. Dr. Catherine Pearlman, syndicated columnist and one of America’s leading parenting experts, has a simple yet revolutionary solution: Ignore It!
Dr. Pearlman’s four-step process returns the joy to child rearing. Combining highly effective strategies with time-tested approaches, she teaches parents when to selectively look the other way to withdraw reinforcement for undesirable behaviors. Too often we find ourselves bargaining, debating, arguing and pleading with kids. Instead of improved behavior parents are ensuring that the behavior will not only continue but often get worse. When children receive no attention or reward for misbehavior, they realize their ways of acting are ineffective and cease doing it. Using proven strategies supported by research, this book shows parents how to:
- Avoid engaging in a power struggle
- Stop using attention as a reward for misbehavior
- Use effective behavior modification techniques to diminish and often eliminate problem behaviors
Overflowing with wisdom, tips, scenarios, frequently asked questions, and a lot of encouragement, Ignore It! is the parenting program that promises to return bliss to the lives of exasperated parents.
Pearlman, a parenting columnist and licensed social worker, shows moms and dads how strategically refusing to react to disruptive behavior can lead to a cooperative family dynamic. Pearlman advocates "selective ignoring," a strategy based on recognized behavior-modification research. Above all, she writes, kids want parents' full attention good or bad and will go to "extreme lengths" to get it, whether through crying, tantrums, unreasonable demands, or even making themselves throw up, until the parent gives up and gives in, reinforcing the child's belief that such behavior is an effective way of getting what they want." Instead of being a pushover or escalating an acrimonious situation, a parent can step away and make the incident a teachable moment. "Behavior that is not reinforced (or is ignored) wanes," and good behavior that is praised or rewarded becomes habit, Pearlman states. To that end, she provides step-by-step methods for practicing selective ignoring in the short and long term, plus useful charts and progress reports, entertaining true stories, tips and tricks, and FAQs, all directed toward identifying and acknowledging children's positive behavior or imposing consequences (not punishment) for inappropriate behavior. Fun to read and written in a parent-to-parent voice, this is a welcome reintroduction of well-tested child-raising methods and should be required reading for all parents.