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Parenting: Punishment and Reward not working? We can help you

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Parenting: Punishment and Reward not working? We can help you

 

parenting counsellingParenting is not an easy job primarily because there is no single recipe or one way to raise a child.  Parenting is also highly emotional that can distort in the moment how we deal with a child.

Parenting is not about rules but rather there are guidelines and strategies along with creativity that guide the development of a child. Parents are tasked with trying to figure out how they are going to teach their child important lesson of life like: responsibility, education is your gateway to more choices, delay gratification, cooperation, reciprocity, accountability, you are never good at something right away which is why you must keep trying. Those are just a few complex life lessons parents need to teach their children.

A parent's title would be more appropriately called Teacher or Life Skills Coach. The challenge for many parents today is that their child is growing up in a very different world than the one the parents did. Today children are surrounded by technology and computers and more choices than their parents ever had. The child is growing up differently than the parents. Parents may find that how their own parents parented them doesn’t work on their kids. 

The other scary part of parenting is that it is not clear what kind of world your child will be entering or what skills they will need to be successful. The world is changing so rapidly and all indications suggest children today will need a heavy educational background in math and sciences. So parents feel a lot of pressure to prepare their child.

Historically, parents were taught that children are cause and effect. Unfortunately this gross over simplification of child behavior leads parents to using punishment and rewards to ineffective outcomes.  Humans, and this includes children, are not cause and effect. Instead, all people, regardless of age, take information and develop choices. The more complex the information presented to the child, the more choices the child may develop.

You might ask, then, how am I supposed to teach these things if I cannot use punishment or reward to drive behavior.

You teach a child by developing effective strategies that are designed to allow child to learn from their choices. We help parents develop this strategy. The strategy is designed so that the consequences of a child’s choice facilitate the child’s learning. Punishment is not a consequence, it is often an arbitrary and designed to inflict pain on the child and often that has nothing to do with learning.

I’ll give you an example. A common example I work with is parents that are trying to teach their child to wash his/her hands. The child was constantly getting sick and then so was the family. The child, often they are between the ages of 7 to 9, doesn’t understand the link between germs and illness. A common approach to teaching is that a parent will take away something, often nothing to do with the process of hand washing and illness. In many cases I’ll see the family decide that each time the child got sick they would take away the child’s ice cream.

Now with the punishment of ice cream removal, what do you think the child will learn? Does it make sense? How does ice creaming or lack of it teach the child to wash his hands? Short answer it doesn’t. And it didn’t work and the child continued to not wash his/her hands and continued to get sick.

A different strategy is to start to help the child make the link between his choice to not wash his hands and getting sick. Getting sick is a natural consequence of his choice. If he washes his hands a natural consequence is that he’ll stay healthy and all that goes with health such as going outside to play, participation in family events etc.  As parent you need to help them make sense or link these activities.

Does this take time? Yes!

For young children this is not obvious and will require many mistakes until they experience for themselves the link. A parent can help teach this concept by lovingly and firmly pointing it out each and every time that the child gets sick. Another natural consequence of being sick is that parents may spend less time with the child and the child cannot do fun activities. This is a natural consequence of being sick.  

Many parents want fast fast fast results! Punishment gives us the illusion of fast results but often doesn’t teach, just inflicts pain….and it doesn’t work on most complex things.

Another natural consequence for the parents is that punishment weakens their relationship with the child. The most important things a parent needs to preserve are the relationship with their child. At best, a parent has indirect control and they get this through the quality of the relationship they have with their child.

If you are struggling with teaching your adolescent child we can help you:

How We Help

Typically parents will look at their child's behavior and see the behavior as the problem and try to eradicate it. However, the child's behavior IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Read that again. The behavior of the child is not the problem, but rather the child's best attempt, in the situation and moment, to meet their need. Read that again.

So we help parents by stepping backing and looking at the entire system or environment of their child. Many parents are scared to look at their own behavior or how it is contributing to their child's behavior. Many parents just want the child’s behavior to be about child. The reality is the child is just responding to the adult. So if you want to shift your child's behavior, the adult not the child, will need to change first.

Parents may have a preferred way of parenting, which is fine except when it doesn't work on their child. Often parents want to hire a therapist to get the kid to conform to the parent's preferred style. However this approach is effective. The approach needs to change. The parents to get the outcome they want will be required to learn new approaches. No one likes change, but it is much easier for the adult to change the relationship and what they are doing than the child.

 

Children have very little control in their world. They are told to go to school, when to get up, what to do and most of their time is decided for them. They react and control the few things that they can. If adults can engage differently with their child, they can redirect their child's behavior.

 

I help parents figure out a new framework for engaging their child and changing the behavior. I help parents understand what their child wants. I help parents see how their child is experiencing the adult and what the child's behavior is trying to tell the adult.

 

By working together with the adults, I can help them create a change in the family. I also help parents come together and form a powerful team. Often parents get split when a child is acting out. This further destabilizing the family.

 

If you want to learn more how I can help you, please email, sms or call me at 90307239.  Sometimes the first step is the parent is looking at their behavior, rather than focusing on and blaming the child. I can help you see what is more effective.

Parenting is not an easy job primarily because there is no single recipe or one way to raise a child.  Parenting is also highly emotional that can distort in the moment how we deal with a child.

Parenting is not about rules but rather there are guidelines and strategies along with creativity that guide the development of a child. Parents are tasked with trying to figure out how they are going to teach their child important lesson of life like: responsibility, education is your gateway to more choices, delay gratification, cooperation, reciprocity, accountability, you are never good at something right away which is why you must keep trying. Those are just a few complex life lessons parents need to teach their children.

A parent's title would be more appropriately called Teacher or Life Skills Coach. The challenge for many parents today is that their child is growing up in a very different world than the one the parents did. Today children are surrounded by technology and computers and more choices than their parents ever had. The child is growing up differently than the parents. Parents may find that how their own parents parented them doesn’t work on their kids. 

The other scary part of parenting is that it is not clear what kind of world your child will be entering or what skills they will need to be successful. The world is changing so rapidly and all indications suggest children today will need a heavy educational background in math and sciences. So parents feel a lot of pressure to prepare their child.

Historically, parents were taught that children are cause and effect. Unfortunately this gross over simplification of child behavior leads parents to using punishment and rewards to ineffective outcomes.  Humans, and this includes children, are not cause and effect. Instead, all people, regardless of age, take information and develop choices. The more complex the information presented to the child, the more choices the child may develop.

You might ask, then, how am I supposed to teach these things if I cannot use punishment or reward to drive behavior.

You teach a child by developing effective strategies that are designed to allow child to learn from their choices. We help parents develop this strategy. The strategy is designed so that the consequences of a child’s choice facilitate the child’s learning. Punishment is not a consequence, it is often an arbitrary and designed to inflict pain on the child and often that has nothing to do with learning.

I’ll give you an example. A common example I work with is parents that are trying to teach their child to wash his/her hands. The child was constantly getting sick and then so was the family. The child, often they are between the ages of 7 to 9, doesn’t understand the link between germs and illness. A common approach to teaching is that a parent will take away something, often nothing to do with the process of hand washing and illness. In many cases I’ll see the family decide that each time the child got sick they would take away the child’s ice cream.

Now with the punishment of ice cream removal, what do you think the child will learn? Does it make sense? How does ice creaming or lack of it teach the child to wash his hands? Short answer it doesn’t. And it didn’t work and the child continued to not wash his/her hands and continued to get sick.

A different strategy is to start to help the child make the link between his choice to not wash his hands and getting sick. Getting sick is a natural consequence of his choice. If he washes his hands a natural consequence is that he’ll stay healthy and all that goes with health such as going outside to play, participation in family events etc.  As parent you need to help them make sense or link these activities.

Does this take time? Yes!

For young children this is not obvious and will require many mistakes until they experience for themselves the link. A parent can help teach this concept by lovingly and firmly pointing it out each and every time that the child gets sick. Another natural consequence of being sick is that parents may spend less time with the child and the child cannot do fun activities. This is a natural consequence of being sick.  

Many parents want fast fast fast results! Punishment gives us the illusion of fast results but often doesn’t teach, just inflicts pain….and it doesn’t work on most complex things.

Another natural consequence for the parents is that punishment weakens their relationship with the child. The most important things a parent needs to preserve are the relationship with their child. At best, a parent has indirect control and they get this through the quality of the relationship they have with their child.

If you are struggling with teaching your adolescent child we can help you:

How We Help

Typically parents will look at their child's behavior and see the behavior as the problem and try to eradicate it. However, the child's behavior IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Read that again. The behavior of the child is not the problem, but rather the child's best attempt, in the situation and moment, to meet their need. Read that again.

So we help parents by stepping backing and looking at the entire system or environment of their child. Many parents are scared to look at their own behavior or how it is contributing to their child's behavior. Many parents just want the child’s behavior to be about child. The reality is the child is just responding to the adult. So if you want to shift your child's behavior, the adult not the child, will need to change first.

Parents may have a preferred way of parenting, which is fine except when it doesn't work on their child. Often parents want to hire a therapist to get the kid to conform to the parent's preferred style. However this approach is effective. The approach needs to change. The parents to get the outcome they want will be required to learn new approaches. No one likes change, but it is much easier for the adult to change the relationship and what they are doing than the child.

 

Children have very little control in their world. They are told to go to school, when to get up, what to do and most of their time is decided for them. They react and control the few things that they can. If adults can engage differently with their child, they can redirect their child's behavior.

 

I help parents figure out a new framework for engaging their child and changing the behavior. I help parents understand what their child wants. I help parents see how their child is experiencing the adult and what the child's behavior is trying to tell the adult.

 

By working together with the adults, I can help them create a change in the family. I also help parents come together and form a powerful team. Often parents get split when a child is acting out. This further destabilizing the family.

 

If you want to learn more how I can help you, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it l, sms, whatsapp or call me at 90307239.  Sometimes the first step is the parent is looking at their behavior, rather than focusing on and blaming the child. I can help you see what is more effective.

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