Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Nook: Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavior Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction

As a parent, it can be really tiring to be harping on negative behavior all the time. And many parents have heard at some point that sometimes kids just do it for attention - that any attention is good attention if they aren't getting very much. Catherine Pearlman, PhD, LCSW, wants parents to realize that they don't have to tire themselves out nagging their kids for every little thing. In Ignore It! she encourages parents to selectively ignore infractions to gain overall improvement in behavior.

Now, obviously, there are things that can't be ignored - if someone is unsafe, for example, that needs immediate attention. However, making a big deal out of infractions and doling out punishment can actually have the opposite effect of what's desired. Instead of minimizing the behavior, they can (especially for some kids) increase the frequency of misbehavior so that the parent has to intervene.

The book provides realistic strategies in how to avoid power struggles and provide inadvertent positive reinforcement of poor behavior. She explains what is effective in reducing and even eliminating frequent minor misbehavior.

The book is easy to use. There are real-life scenarios and tips, as well as FAQs that many parents have. It incorporates reward systems that work, appropriate use of time-outs, how to get on the same page as parents, and what to do in circumstances where ignoring a behavior isn't viable. It's written with a very encouraging tone, optimistic that parenting can become not just a chore, but a fun way to build relationships with your kids.

DR. CATHERINE PEARLMAN is the founder of The Family Coach, a private practice specializing in helping families resolve everyday problems related to discipline, sleep, and sibling rivalry, among other issues. She is the proud parent of a son in elementary school and a daughter in middle school. Her syndicated Dear Family Coach column has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and many regional parenting magazines. She has appeared on Today and her advice has been featured in Parenting, Men's Health,, and The Huffington Post. Dr. Pearlman is a licensed clinical social worker who has been working with children and families for more than twenty years. She is an assistant professor of social work at Brandman University and received her PhD in social welfare from Yeshiva University and a masters of social work from New York University.

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