Know your Destination!

"Knowing what you want your kids to do, is more powerful than just knowing what you want them to stop."

In my private practice parents are calling all the time to discuss reducing, eliminating or stopping problem behaviors. This might be why you read my blog. You want support in getting the yelling to stop or the hitting or the rudeness. It all just needs to go away!

I hear you! I am here to help you get exactly that!

The first question I usually ask a family next is, what do you want instead?

This is a critical question! Because behavior does not just disappear, it has to be replaced. If you stop of small being from yelling, they are going to start talking more. When you stop the rudeness, your small being will start saying please and thank you more. 

When you want to stop a behavior, the first thing to determine is what do you want to happen instead. 

Once you have that answer, then you can change the behavior!

It is that simple!

The challenge is that so many grown ups want to focus on only the problem. Discussing and reviewing and directing the problem. When you do that, you end up focusing on the problem behavior. You see what you are looking for. As Dr. Richard Bandler says, “If you focus on problems, you sure will find them"

To change behavior you have to focus on the replacement behavior. In order to do that, you need to know what behavior you want to use for the replacement. Then build towards that behavior. 

My favorite example of this is preschool boys on the playground. The often get in trouble for playing rough. They are told, “No playing ninjas” and “No cops and robbers”. They are also told “No super hero games” and “No karate practice”. When you ask them what they are playing, they look all confused. They have no idea what to play. Often, I will suggest, “What about tag?” Their eyes light up and off they run. 

All they need is one idea of how to run around the playground and not get in trouble. When they are only told what not to play, they are stuck. When they are told what to play, they can succeed!

Start telling your small beings what to play! Give them a destination and watch the behavior change!!