Yesterday we were getting into the case of the ‘repeater’. The kid who repeats your name 7 times in 15 seconds (or less) and we left it hanging. This section, from “the parents handbook by Gary D. McKay” says that there is a faulty belief that is starting to be ingrained into your child’s mind. And you and I focus on the word faulty, but kids just think what they think. And the repeater’s ‘faulty belief’ is that “they belong only when I am being noticed.”
And you and I know that’s not true.
I love it when my kids are playing together or playing quietly, or doing something smart or eating something healthy. But kids just live in the moment, so in those moments we have to adult. We have to parent. And what we need to be doing for kids who crave the attention, is to ignore the misbehavior when possible. Give attention for positive behavior when the child is not making a bid for it. Avoid undue service. Realize that reminding, punishing, rewarding, coaxing, and service are undue attention.
And luckily my wife and I are on the same page here with this. And I want to be clear – for those of you with the dream that if you and your partner were not constantly differing in opinion, that this would be easy – sorry. It’s still not. But it’s a good starting point, because these take time, they are a constant way to deal with the situation, so don’t see them as an end to all problems, but a beginning to being able to deal with it – just a little better.
Anyway, I want to re-iterate that the author says you have to approach this in a certain way. First you have to understand your feelings toward the situation. Then you have to see how the kids respond. And if they don’t do these two things, as I’ve mentioned in this example, then you don’t get to this faulty belief (in this case that I belong only when I’m noticed—the goal of attention) without having BOTH. In this case it an annoyed parent and a kid who resumes the behavior. If your kid goes to their room and cries – then their goal isn’t attention.
But as I said yesterday, we’re all different and all the same, and I bet you will have at least one of the problems we talk about over the next few days. We’ll catch you tomorrow.