ignore your kids when they behave poorly and their behavior will improve

Ignore Your Kids

I know that headline probably got your attention, right? On the advice of my friend Catherine Pearlman, I am ignoring my kids more – and it’s working. Catherine wrote a fantastic new book called “IGNORE IT! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction“. Well, I don’t know about you, but I am all about increasing my parental satisfaction.

Dr. Catherine Pearlman is a delightful, happy, centered parent with two beautiful kids. She is also the founder of The Family Coach, a family practice specializing in helping families resolve everyday problems relating to discipline, sleep and sibling rivalry, among other things. She’s a licensed clinical social worker, has a Ph.D. in social welfare and a Masters Degree in social work. Suffice to say, Dr. Pearlman knows of what she speaks.

Dr. Catherine Pearlman is a celebrated author, public speaker and darn smart parent. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Pearlman)

Her premise in the book is a simple concept really – simple to understand, yet sooooo hard to do for most parents (me included for sure). Catherine’s idea is that when your child is acting up, the more you say no and try to explain, reason, beg or demand, the more they escalate their behavior.

Has this ever happened to you? I’ve caught myself in very public places, voice raised beyond an acceptable pitch, while my kid melts down in front of me. We both end up furious, and walk away steaming without having reached a healthy resolution. Come on, we’ve all had those moments – like that time at Target when I lost my s%*+ in the shampoo aisle “trying to teach my daughter a lesson” about budgets, unnecessary items and spoiled brats. Yeah, that didn’t work out in a way that made me feel very good, nor her.

Instead, “IGNORE IT!” suggests we selectively ignore our children when they exhibit poor behavior. Since they no longer have an audience and we are not engaged in their drama, they lose their steam and realize they are not successful in their fit-pitching.

I tried it and it worked. So I tried it again, and guess what – it worked again. So far my little lovelies have not caught on when I am using Dr. Pearlman’s advice and techniques, and we are all happier for it.

This may not be the only tactic we need to employ in our child-rearing arsenal, but I like it a lot. Less energy focused on highly charged corrective interactions, and more on peace and quiet.

Now if I could just apply these tactics at the office….

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One thought on “Ignore Your Kids

  1. I always ignore my children in a time like this for example my daughter was ungrateful of the items we have given her so my husband and I decided to letbher pick anything from toys r us (every childs dream) when we purchased the item right before we left we made her give her toy away to another child in the store! Did she learn her lesson? YES she did 🙂

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