Call Out that Negative Behavior

Do your kids fight? Whine? Stomp away? Refuse to eat dinner? Back talk? Drag their feet? Do everything EXCEPT what you asked?

If so….they might be normal!

I’ve been blessed to have a great friend in my life, that’s also a family therapist.  She has a great way of looking at things…and great advice for me.  In this situation, she tells me:

When you are at your wit’s end….take a deep breath and step back, and listen up!

All kids have a negative behavior (that pushes your buttons) that they will “go to” when they are not getting enough positive attention.

How’s that for a revelation?  So, what do you do with this info?

  1. Take a look at each of your kids….and figure out which of their negative behaviors is “the one” (note, some may have more than one)
  2. Write it down…and put it somewhere that you can look at it (like your bathroom) when you’re at your wit’s end and giving yourself a “mommy time-out”  Knowing what’s really going on in the situation will help you keep your cool.
  3. Respond to the real situation (your child needs more positive attention) instead of Reacting to the negative behavior that’s making your blood boil.

Watch for it….and call it what it is….(I did this with my daughter, age 11, and she stared at me dumbfounded.)  I simply told her that if she needed some attention or one-on-one time with my husband or me, that she just needed to ask.  She didn’t need to pick a fight with us.


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