Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction

Catherine Pearlman. TarcherPerigee, $16 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-313033-8
Pearlman, a parenting columnist and licensed social worker, shows moms and dads how strategically refusing to react to disruptive behavior can lead to a cooperative family dynamic. Pearlman advocates “selective ignoring,” a strategy based on recognized behavior-modification research. Above all, she writes, kids want parents’ full attention—good or bad—and will go to “extreme lengths” to get it, whether through crying, tantrums, unreasonable demands, or even making themselves throw up, until the parent gives up and gives in, reinforcing the child’s belief that such behavior is an effective way of getting what they want.” Instead of being a pushover or escalating an acrimonious situation, a parent can step away and make the incident a teachable moment. “Behavior that is not reinforced (or is ignored) wanes,” and good behavior that is praised or rewarded becomes habit, Pearlman states. To that end, she provides step-by-step methods for practicing selective ignoring in the short and long term, plus useful charts and progress reports, entertaining true stories, tips and tricks, and FAQs, all directed toward identifying and acknowledging children’s positive behavior or imposing consequences (not punishment) for inappropriate behavior. Fun to read and written in a parent-to-parent voice, this is a welcome reintroduction of well-tested child-raising methods and should be required reading for all parents. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017
Release date: 08/08/2017
Audio Product - 978-1-5247-0400-1
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