It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Tip #7 of Seven Tips for Getting Along Better with Your Kids

We are publishing this article on this blog as a series. We might or might not cover all the tips sequentially, but you will be able to separate out all of them by entering "seven tips" in the search box on the right and clicking it. Although these tips are part of my book, If My Kid’s So Nice, Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?, they really are applicable to ALL young people, not just difficult ones.

Tip #7: Recognize Improvement

Youngsters sometimes feel that, if they ever did anything well, no one would ever notice anyway. So notice. Recognize the child's effort, express your appreciation about it. But don't stop there. Think about it. When we say to a youngster, "What you did pleases me," the message to the child is that it's their job to please us. Wouldn't it be better to say, "What you did pleases me but, more importantly, I'll bet it pleases you to be a person who can be so helpful to others?" That's an entirely different kind of statement.

We can also offer an interpretation of what the improvement means to us. We could say, for example, "Mark, I haven't had to say a word to you all week about homework. I believe that's because you're taking the responsibility to handle it on your own." It would also be appropriate to finish by saying, "Why do you think you're doing better."

This is the last of the seven tips. I hope they have been helpful to you.

 James Sutton, Psychologist

Author, What Parents Need to Know About ODD

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June 26, 2006 - Posted by | Difficult Child, Parents

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