Parenting Tip – Notice the Positives!

How many times a day do you, as a parent, have to correct your teen’s misbehavior with statements such as “Stop that,” “clean up your room,” or “how many times am I going to have to ask you to put the video game away?” I am guessing that it feels like an infinite number of times.

As parents, we have many jobs: working, cleaning the house, making dinner, walking the dogs and when you add our most important job to the mix – raising our children, it can become overwhelming.  Unfortunately, at times we may forget about our child until he or she does something to catch our attention – which often happens when they have done something wrong.

It is extremely important to avoid or break the cycle of ONLY paying attention to your child when he or she misbehaves.  It is critical to catch your children doing the right thing.  When a parent notices their child doing the right thing and praises that behavior, it will most likely increase the positive behavior.

So, for the next week try to catch your teen doing the right thing every day.

  • If your teen tends to disrupt you a lot when you are busy, try to find a moment when he or she has not and thank them for not disturbing you.
  • If your teen voluntarily does something like taking out the trash be sure to thank him or her for doing that, letting them know what it meant to you.
  • If your teen does what you ask without you having to ask 10 times, be sure to notice that and let them know you appreciate it.

In following this advice, it is important that you don’t look only for your teen being extra good, just catch them doing right things.  Also, do not go overboard trying to catch everything.

About Steven Petrus

Dr. Steven Petrus is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in psycho-educational assessment, child, adolescent and family therapy.
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