Monday, June 20, 2011


Just because I counsel and advocate for kids, does not mean that I always do things correctly.  I have to be careful and find a balance in parenting.  The biggest mistake that I make, and I see my clients make, is being too critical.  My kid has done 90% of everything I have put in front of him (I have 4 boys) and I go focus on the 10% that he blew off, or just plain forgot.  I have to remember to praise the 90% and reward his hard work.  If I focus on the 10%, I have set up a case of learned helplessness, this is when the child cannot feel success in anything he does.  When we have learned helplessness, the child will just quit.  Then we get the "hacked off teenager syndrome".  I see this quite a bit in my practice, the parents push so hard, the kid finally gives the parent the finger and is basically done with them. 
Now we have a horrible cycle, the more the kid withdraws, the tougher the parent becomes.  Guess what?  We are not bonding, loving, encouraging, supporting, and most of all enjoying our children.  We are harping, nagging, suffocating, irritating and definitely NOT enjoying our kids. 
If you find yourself in this situation, HIT RESTART!  Tell your kid what you have done wrong.  Then evaluate your motives.  I bet you need to change the way you are motivating your child. 

Next blog is How to Motivate Properly

1 comment:

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