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!


Releasing anxiety

Releasing anxiety has many steps to it.  It is another one of those things that are not easily done.  You first must identify what provokes the anxiety and this is the most difficult step.  You may superficially identify what causes the anxiety but often times the anxiety is another one one those things that just comes up for no apparent reason.   There is always a reason.  There is always an underlying causal factor that needs to surface and be dealt with before the anxiety and sometimes panic attacks will stop.  This again requires relaxing enough with the therapist to trust them not to hurt you.  If your experience with therapists or people in general is not a good one, again this is not easily done.  The therapist will not be able to rush you into dealing with something this difficult if you do not trust them.  That can be because you have had a bad experience with  a therapist or because you are not ready to deal with whatever is underneath the anxiety and panic attacks.  Chances are it is a little of both.  If you are not ready to deal with the underlying causal factor, it will not work, no matter how good your therapist.  When doing trauma therapy the person must be relaxed enough with the therapist to talk about what is causing the anxiety or panic.  It is usually trauma related and is the most difficult thing this person will ever do.  The first many sessions must be about relaxation and building trust.  It will never be about talking about what happened to them that has caused the anxiety or panic.  A good therapist will work at the persons pace and not rush them into anything they are not ready to have happen.  Doing so is re-traumatizing them.  The second step is to tell your story over and over until it is neutralized and you no longer feel anxiety or panic when you tell it.  There are many ways to tell your story.  Talking about it, writing about it, drawing about it and tapping.  All are very good ways to get it out of your head and heart and somewhere you can see it objectively.  Anything that stays in your head and heart remains subjective and can and does take on a life of its own.  The third step is to do what you can about those things you have control over and let go of those things you do not.  Hanging on to them is only hurting yourself and carrying a burden that is not yours to carry.

Beginning this process is the most difficult step and will take the longest to accomplish.  Be patient with yourself it will be worth it in the long run to be able to be free of anxiety when certain situations crop up in your life.  You can use this video to begin your relaxation and explore the possibility of finding a trauma therapist to help you with this process. The guided imagery will also help you in getting rid of the old and replacing it with the new.   Click here for the videos   Enjoy!