"A child's feeling of self-esteem is centered on the experience for which he/she is noticed most intently."
~ Howard Glasser
Beyond Positive Discipline - Howard Glasser -In his parenting book Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach (co-written by Jennifer Easley), Howard Glasser describes some brilliant ideas that apply to parenting ALL children, not just "difficult" children.
What is the favorite toy of all children?
And children quickly learn that parents (their favorite toy) will focus a lot of attention on them when they do something wrong.
Think about it. Don't you put a lot of energy and attention on your children when they do something bad?
What about when they do something good?
Parenting and the Payoff of Attention
When children are being good, you may feel relief, but probably don't acknowledge the child with the same parental energy as when they do something bad -- if you acknowledge them at all.
What do children learn from this?
To get their parents' attention and energy, do something bad.
If you are a parent, I'm sure you've experienced this pattern in your child occasionally. They throw a tantrum or start acting out exactly when you are busy with something else (and ignoring them). Kid's get it. They know if they can't get their parents' attention doing something good, their parents are sure to give them attention when they do something bad. And often any attention is better than no attention to a child (especially a "difficult" child).
But that isn't the profound part.
The profound idea Glasser describes is about the thinking patterns children can develop when parents primarily give attention when children do bad things.
Howard Glasser put it this way:
I explore the implications of this insight in my post Howard Glasser's Key to a Child's Self-esteem.
Is Glasser's Book Only for Parenting the "Difficult" Child?
No! Perhaps it's an unfortunate title...but then again, it's easy to refer to your own child as "difficult" when he or she won't listen to a word you say. In any case, the parenting principles and techniques described in Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach apply to ALL children. Perhaps they just apply even more for parenting the "difficult" child -- whatever that means.
Read More About It
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|Transforming The Difficult Child- 6 Hour Seminar on DVD|
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