Children and getting noticed

Children will copy behavior from the time they are little.  They learn how to walk, talk, use language phrases, swear, curse and behave from the adults in their lives.  They also learn how to gain and keep your attention from you.  What ever it is that you are rewarding by paying attention to it, they will repeat.  So if you are rewarding good behavior they will repeat the good behavior.  If the only time you are paying attention to them is when they are getting into trouble, they will continue to get into trouble to keep your attention.  Ignoring bad behavior is good when you can do it.  Catching them being good is better.  Even if it is only for a couple of moments.  I worked with parents once that had a child with severe ADHD.  The child had trouble being still, including when he ate a meal, he had to be moving.  He was not sleeping for more than a couple of hours a night either.  His parents were angry, frustrated and had no idea how to handle the situation.  They were constantly yelling at him to be still.  I asked them to catch him being good and to stop yelling at him to be still.  A week went by and when I went back, they were pulling their hair out because the boy was running all over the house and they thought it was worse.  It was.  They had stopped yelling, his only means of attention, and were ignoring him.  They had not replaced the old behavior of yelling with a new one.  He was not getting any attention so he upped the ante in order to get the old behavior of yelling back so he could get attention and feel safe in his home where yelling was a normal event.  They told me they couldn’t find any time when he was being good.  The child had stopped at the table to pick up some food off of a plate, i said to him, “look at how good your standing there eating”.  he initially looked at me like I had 3 heads but he stood there about 30 seconds more and chewed.  Longer then he ever had.  Later during the session he had stopped long enough to look at something that his sister had brought in from school.  Again I said the same thing.  Again he stopped long enough to ask her about it.  The parents got the idea.  About a month later the child was stopping for even longer periods and able to sit for a meal without having to run around with the food in his mouth. He did this without the help of medication.  As he became calmer and the parents were able to verbally reward him more often the periods of time and situations increased.

The idea here is that if your child is acting out, there is a reason.  They have either learned it from you or someone is molesting them.  You need to correct it early because once puberty hits you will lose them completely until they are about 25 years old, sometimes older depending on the trauma.  Adolescence is difficult enough without adding reasons to hate your parents to it.  They can come up with those by themselves.    These video’s will help you to relax and get rid of those things you have no control over.  Lin to the video’s/ Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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