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!


Trauma and your emotional brain

You have two sides of one brain.  The emotional one and the analytical one.  For the most part the analytical brain works well with the emotional brain.  During trauma the analytical brain takes over and does not allow the emotions to override what is happening. You need to be logical at that time, not emotional.  So the emotions are squashed and the logical brain tries to get you out of whatever situation you find yourself in, alive.  This is the way it work for men and women, even though women are allowed to be emotional in public more often then men.  We are getting better at that.  Whether man or woman, you have attached an emotion to this memory and it will stay there until you deal with the emotion you squashed.  There are usually more then one emotion that was felt at the time of the event.  Yesterday I spoke about how trauma therapy works and how to detach the emotion from the memory.  You will probable never forget the event.  You do not always have to have the emotional response that is attached to the memory.  It does not always have to send you into the same emotions that you were having at the time of the event, but squashed.  You will be stuck there, however until you deal with it.  You will respond with the emotions that you had with the same intensity and duration.  You will behave in the same way, at the same age you were at the time of the event.  You may be 25 years old now, but, if you were 3 at the time of the event you will be responding at the emotional age of a 3 year old.  The emotions are still with that 3 year old you, not with the 25 year old you.  Your emotional maturity is based on this 3 year old, you have not grown emotionally much past this 3 year old if you have not dealt with this event.  Even though the 25 year old you is trying to deal with these emotions and quite often not knowing where they are coming from in the present. The 3 year old is running the show and controlling your emotions for you.  Not a good thing to allow to happen. Your emotional maturity is important for your growth as a person and needs as much respect as the analytical brain.  If it does not you will not be able to grow as a person.  The balance of emotions and logic is essential to human growth and being a better person.  To start any change in your life you must be relaxed enough to make it work. You also have to get rid of all of those things you have no control over.  This will help.  Click here for the videos    Enjoy!