Can I have a snack bar?” my daughter asked as I measured the rice and poured it into the pot. “No, dinner’s coming,” I said. “Just hang on.” I put the recipe on the counter and reviewed the list of ingredients. My daughter called from the kitchen table. “But I’m so hungry! Please?” I ignored her, snipping the chicken thighs into a bowl. I’ve already given her my answer, I thought. A minute passed and I took a peek over my shoulder. She’d returned to her book, the snack bar seemingly forgotten.
You might think ignoring your children is a bad thing. But sometimes, when you give a child a response, you might inadvertently reinforce the behavior you don’t want. By selectively ignoring frustrating and annoying behavior, you can bring a stop to it within a few days. Here are 5 benefits of looking the other way when certain bad behaviors crop up.

1. You stop giving in.
“Fine, you can watch TV,” I said, sick of the begging. I had already said no, but I allowed my kid to wear me down. The only reason she kept begging was because she knew I’d break at some point. It happened way too much, so I’m resolving to do better.
Moms, if you don’t give in, your kids might still try again tomorrow, but stay firm. Ignore the begging. Eventually, they’ll realize they’re not getting the response they want, and they’ll give up. Don’t make eye contact. Leave the room if you have to. Look busy doing something else and pretend her behavior doesn’t bother you.

2. You stop pleading for better behavior or issuing empty threats.
Do you have a drama queen or king? A child who has overblown reactions to little things, who melts down when she doesn’t get what she wants? It’s hard to ignore this behavior, especially in the grocery store or at a birthday party with everyone watching. But kids who overreact have learned what it takes to get a response. They’re testing you. It’s embarrassing, but try to look the other way.
Ignoring your kids is a skill. It’s hard. We naturally turn to our kids when they need us, but that’s exactly what they want when they overreact: our attention. If we don’t give it to them, their attention-seeking behavior eventually will stop.

3. You avoid the power struggle.
Whether it’s squirming in the church pew or complaining about homework, I’ve learned looking the other way is best for both of us.
“Ignoring isn’t a punishment,” says therapist and author Catherine Pearlman, PhD. “It is a method to improve behavior.” So, when your child is no longer whining or biting his nails, “start to reengage.” You can offer him a snack, ask about his day, or play a game with him. When you ignore the inappropriate behavior, your child learns it doesn’t get him what he wants.

When you ignore the inappropriate behavior, your child learns it doesn’t get him what he wants.

4. You don’t reward her by giving her attention.
“I want her to sleep over!” Maureen and I stood in her driveway chatting after our daughters’ playdate. “Please, Mom,” Sadie begged, crocodile tears slipping down her cheeks. Maureen had already told her no, but her kid kept begging. She gave me a smile, obviously annoyed with her daughter, but continued with the conversation. I marveled at this woman’s strength! We talked for another 10 minutes and during that time, Sadie eventually gave up and our girls started playing tag.
“The trick with selective ignoring is that you are not really ignoring your child,” states Pearlman. “You are simply actively not engaging.” In other words, you know what’s going on, but you don’t react.

5. You have increased satisfaction with him.
My son went through an annoying stage where he’d make up words and sprinkle them into conversation. Every time I’d say, “that’s not a word. Stop using it,” he’d grin and five minutes later, he’d use it again or incorporate a new made-up word. It drove me crazy! Once I resolved to ignore him, the made-up words disappeared. It took a lot of inner eye rolls and biting back my frustration, but eventually, it worked.
I didn’t like constantly scolding my son. And his behavior made me not like being around him. I knew he did it for attention, but I found the made-up words hard to ignore. But ignoring them was the only thing that worked to curb his behavior and our relationship improved from there.
Please note: We should never ignore real physical or emotional pain, sneaky behavior, or behaviors that include self-harm or harm to others. If she frequently calls herself stupid or calls her brother an idiot, it’d be unwise to ignore that. If your child has a condition or disability, ignoring his frustrating behavior may not work to curb it, but according to Pearlman, it might help you tune him or her out without it impacting your relationship with your child.
This post is based on the work of Catherine Pearlman, PhD, LCSW in her book Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction.
Have you tried looking the other way with any particularly frustrating behavior? Was it successful?

If your teacher asked you to pick the destination for the class field trip this year, what would you choose?

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By Imom

Nobody hides pain better than a mother who is trying to remain strong for her kids

When you ignore the inappropriate behavior, your child learns it doesn’t get him what he wants.

You don’t reward her by giving her attention.

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