Reinforcing positive behavior

If you have a child or even an adult that acts out to get attention or to try to get their point across, ignoring the behavior is often what will stop the behavior.  Again it does not happen instantly.  it takes 3 weeks to change a behavior and 3 more weeks to make that behavior a habit.  While you are ignoring the negative behavior you should be reinforcing the positive behavior.  Catch them being good.  I made an example of what I meant by this in an earlier blog, but it goes something like this:  a child who has ADHD and could not sit still for anything, even to eat, was getting worse with his behavior. The parents were only addressing the behavior when he was in trouble and needing a time out.  The end result of this was the parents were taught how to catch him being good and soon the child was being reinforced for the positive things he was doing and not the negative.  He was sitting down to eat a meal with his family and not doing negative things just to get attention.  He was doing positive things instead.

Catching them being good is not easy at first because you have usually taught them to get attention only by doing negative things.  So start small and do not expect them to do anything that you have not taught them to do.  Whatever you have yelled at, punished or otherwise given attention to, they will repeat to get attention because that is the only attention they are getting.  Stop giving it attention and give something positive your attention.  Even if it just happens for a moment, verbally praise it.  Like in the example above the child was only able to stand still for a moment but it was verbally praised and the next time he did it for a little longer, until he was sitting at the table for an entire meal talking with his family.  You can also create opportunities for your child to be good and then praise them for doing so.  You will have to be stronger than your child and not give in when the going gets tough.  Because it will get tough. They will want to continue to do what they have always done, get you to back down by being as obnoxious as they can be.

Again nothing very good happens quickly.  Nothing real happens quickly.  Remember if you have been doing this for a while, it will take a while to undo it.  I know you are tired of it, but  your child is worth the effort.  If it is an adult you will have to do some soul-searching to find out if the relationship is worth the effort put into it.  If you pray, do that, if you meditate do that.  You will have to be centered yourself to be calm enough to do this.  it will not be easy, but it is worth the effort once it is done.  You may also want to use my video on relaxation to stay calm and give away anything that is getting in the way of keeping your peace and connecting with your child.    Click here for the link to the Video’s.   enjoy!


Looking for love

All of us need to be loved.  Unconditionally, unfettered, no holes barred, loved.  You do not have to be raised in a dysfunctional home in order to need this kind of love.  If there are conditions attached to love, it is not love.  It is a sense of belonging to someone that usually drives us to look.  All of us, whether we are raised in a functional or dysfunctional home, look for someone who feels comfortable to us, feels like home to us.  They are usually a combination of our mother and father. In a functional home that is a good thing.  In a dysfunctional home, it is not.  You will get more of the same that you were raised with, and wanted to get away from as soon as possible.  Finding someone who is comfortable is not necessarily a good idea.  So, does that mean you have to be uncomfortable for the rest of your life?  No.  You have to make friends with the person and become comfortable with them.  It will change you and what you’re looking for in a person.  Writing down the characteristics of the person you are looking for will help.  Writing down the characteristics of the person you don’t want, is also a good idea.  You may find a mixture of both.  There will be some characteristics that you cannot tolerate and you will want to be able to pick them out before you get too involved with this person.  Don’t ever settle for anything less then you want. If you do, you will always be looking at the person you settled for as just that.  It is not fair to them or you.  Making friends takes time and effort.  It does not happen over night and it does not involve sex.  Like any relationship, you are drawn to the people that appeal to you physically.  Making friends with this person before getting involved sexually will allow you to step back emotionally from this person.  Once you have a sexual relationship with them, emotions become involved and it clouds the picture.  You are no longer objective about the relationship.  This happens with men and women.  The person who will be able to meet all of your needs may not appeal to you physically at first.  Have you ever met someone whose personality you immediately liked?  Who made you laugh, who you were comfortable with right away?  You may want to spend more time with them, get to know them.  You may fall in love with them, even though they did not appeal to you physically at first.  They will become physically attractive to you because of who they are, not what they look like.  Like anything else, changing your inner love detector is not easy.  It is a criteria you were raised with that you are now trying to change.  You were imprinted with this criteria as a young child.  It draws you to it.  Writing down, knowing what it is you are looking for, will help you spot that person and avoid unnecessary encounters.  It will re-imprint your love map.  If you were raised in dysfunction you will be attracted to people who are like your parents and try to resolve issues you had with your parents, with that person.  Again, not fair to them or you.  Resolving those issues, needs to be done with your parents.(another blog)  Knowing ahead of time what you’re looking for and what you will not tolerate will help you define your search.  Getting rid of all of those things that used to drew you to dysfunction, that you no longer want can be helped by guided imagery. Enjoy!