Do you have a difficult child? What is a difficult child? How do you deal with a difficult child?
I would say that a difficult child is one who is always getting into trouble, who doesn’t obey, gets into fights with siblings, won’t do his homework, doesn’t do his chores, talks back to parents, throws a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get his way, ……you can fill in the rest, I’m sure.
So how do you deal with a difficult child? I thought back to my parenting days for examples of what I did, but then decided to check out the internet for what “the professionals” are saying. I was surprised and happy to see that how I parented was in line with what they were saying.
I especially liked the advice of Howard Glasser who has written several books, the newest being, Transforming the Difficult Child - The Nurtured Heart Approach http://specialchildren.about.com/od/behaviorissues/gr/nurturedheart.htm. He takes the approach that I like, ie give positive feedback and reward your child with your attention when they are doing good things instead of when they are behaving badly.
Our children want our attention. They need our love and approval. But life gets so hectic with LIFE, that often the only time they really get our full attention is when they are fighting with us. But because they need our time and love so much, subconsciously they go for the negative attention because that’s the most often way they get it.
Instead, parents need to give their children attention when they catch them doing what’s right. Reward them with your approval and time for the good things that they do. Sometimes you have to be really creative to “catch” them doing something good, but you’ll find it. When they disobey, give no emotional attention. State the family rule and follow through with the natural consequence. But be sure and give them love and positive words for little things you see them doing at other times. Soon the positive attention will outweigh the negative attention, and peace and harmony will reign in your home. Sounds great??? At least try it.