The Power of Positive Reinforcement...


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The idea that kids respond better to positive reinforcement is a big, steamy pile of crap. We as parents are taught that if we just smile a little bit more, or give Timmy an “attaboy,” that Timmy will want these positive actions to keep happening, over, and over, and over again.

But what if Timmy isn’t a people pleaser? What if Timmy is a huge Fleetwood Mac fan and would rather go his own way, and call it another lonely day? What do you do then? Some children seem to survive... nay, thrive on negative energy. They behave like little life sucking parasites, draining money, time and effort from their parents, while offering shrieks that only a Hellhound could reproduce.

When dealing with these types of children, there are but two available options.
  1. Sit on the floor and pull your legs toward you as if you’re trying to hug your shins. Then, rest your forehead on the top of your knees. Finally, go all glassy-eyed and begin rocking back and forth while dreaming about a quieter time in your life. A time when you used to be able to stop and smell the roses without the worry of someone peeing their pants just because they “didn’t want to” go to the bathroom before venturing out for the afternoon.
  2. Invest in a good set of ear plugs.

I highly recommend option two. With option two, the chance that you’ll be committed to a mental institution is much lower, and they also work well on spouses.

***Disclaimer***

My kids are still quite young, and this isn’t how I actually feel. My kids are perfect, aren’t yours? However, Princess P has proven time and time again (to the point that now it’s a pattern), that mere moments after receiving fist bumps and high-fives for excellent behavior, she feels the need to tip the scale back the other direction by completely losing her mind. It’s quite an interesting phenomena.

photo courtesy of martin whitmore

Comments

Very glad you are back. I enjoy your blog! You have a point about positive reinforcement. Sometimes we humans just need a little reminder that bad behavior can have bad consequences! (Not advocating beating up your kids.)

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