TTAH Tuesday – Emphasize the Positive

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know sometimes my oldest daughter can be very defiant.  But she can also be extremely sweet and helpful.  Sometimes you never know what you’re going to get. 

I have been trying very hard to emphasize positive behavior rather than make a big deal out of negative behavior.  Yes, she still gets some sort of discipline when she breaks a rule, but I don’t make a big emotional deal out of it.  This approach has really helped with her.

Lately she’s been acting up when I discipline her, and I just came up with an idea that’s working brilliantly.  She typically gets 5 minutes of time out in her room when she breaks a rule (usually for her it’s yelling at her brother or speaking disrespectfully to me).  The acting up lately has been that she starts arguing with me or acting defiant when I give her a time out (i.e., not going to her room).  So my idea was that if she went to her room WITHOUT acting negatively, then her time out would be reduced to 3 minutes. 

In other words, I’m recognizing and rewarding positive behavior in the midst of a discipline.  I know it sounds simple, but it’s really working!  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!  In fact, in the past I’d tried increasing the length of time out for defiant behavior, but it never worked – the bad behavior just seemed to increase.

So if you have a child who defies you for time out, try lessening the time if he/she behaves appropriately while going to time out.  You might be surprised at the results!!

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