Like many parents, for years I used behavioral techniques like rewards (aka bribes) to try to motivate my kids, and time-outs and threats (those seemingly benign “if-then” proclamations) to make them stop doing whatever it was I didn't want them to do.
The frustrating and at times infuriating thing that I noticed over and over again was that we would go through spells when the kids were really motivated to change their behavior (or more likely earn their reward/avoid the consequence), but ultimately the behavior would return, triumphant.
No matter how much I reminded, rewarded, bribed, nagged, threatened and sometimes yelled, the behavior was as stubborn as I was beginning to view my children. Why weren't my kids doing as I asked/told them to?
The answer is complicated. And by complicated I don’t mean hard to understand or difficult to implement, simply that it is complex. There are many components that independently can produce a positive outcome, but used in symphony, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts so to speak.
In my upcoming blog posts I will be interweaving the most recent science based evidence with a positive psychology perspective about how to raise happy and successful kids. Topics will include:
- Misbehavior: What our kids are trying to tell us
- Why Threats, Bribes and Rewards Don’t Work
- The Science of Motivation and How We Can apply it to Raising Kids
- Banning the Boss: Why leaving your inner-CEO at the door is more effective
- The Importance of Play for Kids and for Parents
- Consequences vs. Threats: It’s not just semantics
- How to Foster Gratitude during a Season of Excess and Beyond
I hope that you’ll comment, ask questions and share these posts with your friends.
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And to learn more about my parent-education classes and parent coaching services visit www.zinheher.com