Youth Alternatives: Focusing solely on the problem

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - When parents get worried about something with their child, it is easy to get locked on that concern.

Focusing solely on what’s going wrong with your child is ineffective and doesn’t work. Doing so generally creates more resistance, makes him mad, ruins your relationship, and significantly raises your blood pressure.

-You want to make sure your child understands your expectation.

“Don’t project yourself upward from your place of rest.”
He may not get that he isn’t supposed to jump on his bed.
Clean your room is too general for some kids: Pick up every thing on the floor, put your clothes in the drawers , and empty your trash can.

-Focus on any progress that you see and comment on it.

Attaching your attention to good things reinforces that behavior. I see you got a B on that math test – Way to go.
One of the problems is that it only reinforces it, it doesn’t guarantee it. Understand that your control is limited and not total.

-Provide middle of the road, short-tern consequences

Heavy handed long-term consequences tend to create resistance, not obedience., and discouragement not motivation. Daily consequences may be needed as they allow your child an opportunity to keep going and not be discouraged. Don’t save him from consequences he earns at School or in the community.

-Maintain positive times in your relationship

One of the reasons your child tries to do good is to please you. If he is so mad at you that he no longer cares what you think, he is less motivated to work to please you. Some things don’t have to be earned. They get them just because they are part of the family. If you take away all f the positive times, you only have yuck left.