You say you want a revolution…
When people come to see me, it’s generally because they are seeking change. Something isn’t quite the way they want it to be: they want to grow, or help their child grow. That desired change?—it begins in the brain. Scientists used to think that brains stopped growing after a certain age, but thankfully we now know better. Modern neuroscience [...]
The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways
One of the first things I tell most parents that I work with is that behavior is a communication, and that understanding the message in a child’s behavior is incredibly helpful for changing those behaviors. To put it another way, something is behind or underneath unwanted behavior; triggering or motivating or strengthening it. Those hidden drivers are usually unmet [...]
Are you going to let her get away with that?
True personal story: When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old, she got over-stimulated and grabbed an adult relative hard enough to cause pain. We pulled her off, apologized, went into another room and helped her calm down. About 20 minutes later, I apologized for my daughter's behavior again to my relative. Her response surprised me. She said: "Are you going to let her get away with that? Shouldn't you give her a little swat on the butt?"
If not punishment, then what?
I don’t spend much time advising parents on how to punish more effectively. In fact, I tend to tell parents that I am not a big fan of punishment at all. A parent rightfully asked me the other day: “Well then, if not punishment, what DO we do?
Behavior 201, for Parents
The best way to shape a child's behavior doesn't happen after they've done something WRONG--it happens before & after they do something RIGHT.