Beyond Sunday

First the Broccoli Part 3: Really Useful Principles of Learning and Behavior

July 26, 2023 King of Kings Church
First the Broccoli Part 3: Really Useful Principles of Learning and Behavior
Beyond Sunday
More Info
Beyond Sunday
First the Broccoli Part 3: Really Useful Principles of Learning and Behavior
Jul 26, 2023
King of Kings Church

Nurturing a confident, self-regulating child is the ultimate goal of every parent - but how do we achieve it? Together, we venture into understanding our children's motivations. Dr. Tim Reilly guides us through how our reactions to our children's actions can alter their behavior. Drilling down into the role of positive and negative reinforcement, we provide a new lens to view rewards and punishments, and how they shape our children's behavior.

Stay up to date by following us on your favorite social networks.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Have questions or comments? Email us at contact@kingofkings.org.

Thanks for listening!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Nurturing a confident, self-regulating child is the ultimate goal of every parent - but how do we achieve it? Together, we venture into understanding our children's motivations. Dr. Tim Reilly guides us through how our reactions to our children's actions can alter their behavior. Drilling down into the role of positive and negative reinforcement, we provide a new lens to view rewards and punishments, and how they shape our children's behavior.

Stay up to date by following us on your favorite social networks.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Have questions or comments? Email us at contact@kingofkings.org.

Thanks for listening!

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another Beyond Sunday podcast. I'm Peter Bay, here with my guest, dr Tim Reilly, and we are diving back into our parenting series first the broccoli, then the ice cream the broccoli series. We are on part three today where we're going to get into this discussion of attitude versus behavior. But before we do that, i wanted to just kind of remind y'all of some of the things that we've learned along the way thus far. First off, in our early episodes we talked about how, for teaching kids and training kids and skills and behaviors, our goal is really this It's not that they act a certain way now, but our goal is that we get them out of the door, we get them out of the house.

Speaker 1:

When I first heard that, that sounded weird, but it's this idea that by the time they get out, they are confident, they can self-regulate and they are ready for what's ahead of them. So reinforcing that today. I want to also reinforce that creation is actually orderly. The way that we parent our kids produces the behaviors that we're actually parenting, and so if the behaviors are really negative, we can look at the way we're parenting and maybe diagnose some of the some things we're doing that are helping cause that. If the behaviors are positive, there might be some things that we're doing positively that lend itself to that. So that's what this is all about. We're going to learn how to have some healthier behaviors, so that are teaching healthier behaviors in our kids so that we get healthier responses. Tim, would you correct any of that?

Speaker 2:

I might add to that a little bit. Behavior is predictable to a significant degree. A lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am have spent a lot of time looking at a lot of kids and watching what they do, how they respond behaviorally, and there are some pretty predictable patterns to some of that. But kids are also individuals, so there's variability within that and we have free wills so we can also always decide to operate outside of those principles. So what we're talking about are the things that create the greatest potential, the highest probability that we're going to get the behavior we want. And the behavior we want is behavior that serves them well to some degree now, but really serves them well in the long term. So that's always the guiding principle. We're not up principle. We're not always operating for our convenience. We're operating for the sake of the kid, even if it looks like at times that we're more interested in our own convenience.

Speaker 1:

Very good. Going back on something you said earlier. There you said there's people smarter than you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a big number. Holy smokes.

Speaker 1:

Wow, well, that makes me feel even better about myself. So the last thing I wanted to say to you all is this there's going to be a lot of principles, a lot of things we talk about, that, if you're listening in the vehicle, wait till you do this. But at some point you might want to grab a pen, some paper and jot down some notes, because these are things that aren't. You're going to hear them and be like, oh, that's good, i should do this. And then, a couple weeks down the road, you're going to be like What was that I was supposed to do? And you might do it entirely differently, or you've just forgotten by then. So, feel free, jot down some notes, take these with you for a lifetime.

Speaker 2:

Today, attitude, verse, behavior Dr Tim, give us going, okay, so it's a really common experience for me to have parents come into the clinic and say you know, i'm asking why are you here? And they said because my kids got a bad attitude. And okay, then tell me how you know they have a bad attitude. Well, they have a bad attitude because they don't listen to me or they don't pick up their toys or they roll their eyes when I'm trying to talk to them and make a point. And there probably is a bad attitude somewhere in there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's only bad attitude things.

Speaker 2:

Yeah So, but but what they're describing are behaviors.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Right there. And the way that they would know that attitude has improved is if their kids would listen. They would pick up their toys, they would not roll their eyes when they're having a conversation with them. So it's important that we be able to identify, measure in some way, what we're working on. It's hard to even define what an attitude is. If I asked you, you would probably give me a different, different definition than Sarah over there, right, and probably most people would. But we can say well, we all kind of know what rolling your eyes looks like. We all know what it looks like when a kid doesn't listen. Those things are measurable. So for one thing, it allows us to be more focused on what we're doing. But more importantly than that and this is the, i guess, a big take on point here is that if we focus on helping kids do better, or Their attitude tends to improve, their emotions tend to be more positive.

Speaker 2:

Kids who do better get along better with other kids. They get along better with other adults. They're easier to be around. They get a lot more positive feedback from other people. As their lives get better, they feel better about the way their life is going. So in some ways you could say it's sort of upside down to try to work on their attitude first. Asking them to change their attitude is not different than me asking you from now on, just speak Russian When we're having these conversations. You don't really know how right, so you can't just do it.

Speaker 1:

I did learn when I was a senior in high school. I wanted to ask Oksana to the prom And her brother said she's only allowed to go to prom with Russian boys, And so I had to learn how to say Yarrushki, which is I'm Russian, So I do know how to say Yarrushki. And then I went to Oksana's house, knocked on the door and the dad answered And I looked at him and I said Yarrushki, And then he just shook his head and Oksana said no, cause she had no interest in going to prom with me. So I do know two words in Russian, but that is it.

Speaker 1:

So, thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

By the way, if I ever need to know The other side of the coin is that kids who don't behave well don't have a good time Right. They don't get along well with peers. They get used to not listening at home, so they go to school and they don't listen to teachers either, because teachers are another member of the adult club, the grownups club that we talked about before.

Speaker 1:

And we attribute that to bad attitudes. And in the reality, one of our guiding principles here is that the way we parents if we're doing it intentionally can contribute to positive or negative behaviors. Exactly That manifests itself in attitude or whatever.

Speaker 2:

Because as kids get behind, they don't do well, they get shoved off to the deviant peer group. They learn things we don't want them to learn. They get less positive feedback. They get more sour about how their life is going because they see other kids achieving more, doing more than they are.

Speaker 1:

This is a real bleak road that you're casting for us, tim. Yeah, fortunately, we're here to correct That's. Oh, that is the point of this Good news. So you're saying that, really, the behavior is the chicken and the egg?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, So, yeah, it's the best way to move their lives forward, move them toward more positive attitude, emotions, all those kinds of things, more confidence, a sense of competence. But it's also the best way to measure whether or not they have achieved some of those things and whether they're on the way.

Speaker 1:

Well, without any further ado, let's really get into this. In your book you talk about four really truly useful principles of behavior. I thought I found that pretty funny. Four, really truly. You had to convince me that these are really truly useful principles of behavior. But in the first one you kind of kick it off of the story about Josh. Tell us Josh's story.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I tell this story a lot. It's actually based on an interaction I had with my own son when he was a kid, but so hold on. So your son is Josh.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you're the dad who's getting it wrong.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, kind of Yeah All right.

Speaker 1:

That makes me feel good.

Speaker 2:

So maybe nine 10-year-old kid. He's downstairs watching TV. Bedtime rolls around. Dad goes to the top of the stairs and says Josh, bedtime Time to turn off the TV. Come upstairs, get ready and go to bed. And Josh says, ok, dad, because he's a great kid, good job.

Speaker 2:

Josh, Yeah yeah, very nice. And so dad goes back 15 minutes later or so And Josh is downstairs watching TV And dad says Josh, it's time for bed, turn off the TV, get upstairs, get ready And get to bed please. And Josh says, ok, dad, because he's a tremendous kid. Ok. 15 minutes later, josh goes back. You have an idea by now of where Josh is, what he's doing. He's downstairs watching TV And dad's like Josh, turn off that TV, get upstairs, get in the bathroom And get to bed.

Speaker 1:

Sorry to all the listeners to your ears in that moment, but it's the real deal.

Speaker 2:

You've had this at home, josh jumps up, comes upstairs, gets ready and goes to bed. So what's learned here? right, the idea here is that most behavior is learned behavior. Here is what dad learned. I have a non-compliant child. Right, this kid won't do anything unless I tell him three times. I have to yell to get him to move at all.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it turns out that at that moment, josh is demonstrating that he's smarter than his dad is right, because here's what Josh learned Dad is not serious until he starts to yell. When he starts to yell, he is prepared to. Here's the important part do something to me if I don't listen. So what happened was dad actually trained Josh To not listen to him because he didn't have to until he was yelling, and Josh learned that lesson well. So for other kids, it's like they know when my parent raises their eyebrow or gets up off the couch and starts walking toward me, or whatever it is, that's the signal that they're actually ready to do something.

Speaker 2:

What made Josh move was not the yelling. That was just a signal. What made him move was the fact that there was a consequence that was about to happen, and And the big issue here is that we end up often teaching training behaviors That are different than what we think we're teaching or training, and so that's part of the idea of being conscious of you know, aware, intentional of what you're doing is so that you're actually training What you intend to train.

Speaker 1:

So most behavior is learned behavior, and misbehavior is actually pretty normal. Sure, is it more normal than compliance?

Speaker 2:

sure, i Don't know about more normal, i mean kids. So think about when your kids were little, when they were first born. Okay, what were they able to do? cry, eat, poop, yep, eat, sleep, eliminate.

Speaker 1:

That's that's pretty much eliminate. Sorry about my crass language. Yeah, I'll be now using eliminate for that word.

Speaker 2:

So so what that means is That Everything else they do in their life has to be learned. They're not born knowing those things.

Speaker 2:

Okay so they have to learn how to, you know, make their bed, how to tie their shoes, how to Ask permission, how to do their homework, how to do their taxes, all of those kinds of things. Those are things we train them, but they don't necessarily know the difference between that and learning other things. Like You know, complaining to get out of doing chores, or pretending to be to sick So I don't have to go to school, or being aggressive Allows me to get things that I want, or not listening to my dad until he starts to yell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Is a good way to measure when I actually have to turn off the TV. That the and a point of all of that is it All of those things, good and bad, are learned in exactly the same way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, reading your book, getting preparing for these podcasts is. I'm learning a lot as I go And I just noticed this one the other day with my five-year-old And if we're giving fake names, i'll call her Bemi instead of Remy. It's a little Bemi, but anyway, remy she's. We're going to talk more about Remy as we go because I think she's in the season. I know both active and passive non-compliance, but it's learned behavior from us. So we've we asked her to do something and she'll just not do it and run out the door. Yeah, and then it's like, oh, she just doesn't listen But we're not giving her any consequence.

Speaker 1:

So last night My wife is out at a in a meeting and so I've got the kids and I'm like I just read this, so I better follow through. So I say to Remy here Remy, i need you to come over here, i need to talk to you before you go back outside. And then she's just grabbed her water and went outside. So then I was like, well, now I have to do something. So I went outside and I grabbed her and I picked her up and I brought her in the house And I sat her next to me and I talked to her for a while And told her what I need to tell her. And then I said no, remy, i need you to stay in the house until we leave for dinner. And I said if you go outside, then you're gonna lose your dessert for the for the night.

Speaker 1:

And then she stayed inside for about a minute and went outside. And then she then, when I went outside, said Remy, do you know what just we just did? she said I went outside. So what does that mean? Well, i don't get dessert. Okay, so it was somewhat working. It's like amazing me How quickly she's learning. Like, okay, now, there's now. Then I had to follow through with that consequence. Yeah, and I and I did and it. And then she told Carissa when she got home, like like I'm gonna listen to you tomorrow, mommy. So who knows, we'll see if that actually happens today.

Speaker 2:

So she made a perfectly reasonable decision, right? Right, she said I know what the consequence is, yep, and it's worth it to me to accept the consequence, to still go outside. That's not the decision you want, right, but that's a reasonable decision. So your job then, as a parent, is to figure out well, where's the balance point? Where do I find something that's meaningful enough that she's gonna make a better decision about what she needs to do? So kids don't know until you tell them What's misbehavior and what's just behavior. Yeah, their job is to just be kids and and And behave a lot. They do a lot of stuff, yep, and your job is to direct that behavior by Supporting, reinforcing, rewarding behaviors that you know are good, productive behaviors, and then making it painful for them to Not do good behavior, right, right.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, it was obvious, though, to me last night that That I was helping her learn behaviors, whether I follow by following through or not. So Really useful, truly useful. Principle number two is that behavior has a purpose. Behavior has a purpose. So you have a story about Alex. Tell us about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so, so Well, two purposes Actually, um and I'll let me come back to Alex here, okay, in a little bit but If you think about the two main reasons we do things, one is we do things that get us something we want. Yes, right. So people are tuning into this podcast, presumably because they hope they'll learn one or two things that will help them do a better job of parenting. Or maybe they're just trying to kill some time, but they have some reason to do it. They see some value in doing that. So you Go into the kitchen because that's where the snacks are. You listen to the podcast because you expect you're going to get something from doing that.

Speaker 2:

Your kids throw a tantrum, or they refuse to listen to you because they think they're going to get something out of that. I get to play outside if I don't listen to my dad, and so the the the term we use for that psychology is positive reinforcement, meaning you do something because it gets you something you want. Right, you show up for work because they give you a paycheck once in a while, and that motivates a lot of behavior. My experience has been, recently in particular, that lots of kids have so much stuff and so many privileges that it's almost hard to find things to motivate them with in that way. Well, if you do that, then you can do this. Yeah, i don't care, i've already got, you know, 9000 video games and a room full of Legos and all that stuff I need, right, right.

Speaker 2:

And so that brings us to the other reason that people do things. And so you can think in terms of you know, as you're driving into the studio today and you're doing, you know, just a little bit over the speed limit Not that you would ever ever do that, of course, not me But if you did, and then you see a police car, yep, i can be pretty confident you're going to engage in stepping on the brake. Yeah, tap that brake And you're doing that. Why? to get out of something that you don't want to have happen, to avoid some unpleasant consequence. Yes, which is the other main reason that we, that we do things. So stepping on the brake behavior, complaining to get out of your chores, crossing your street to avoid the bully. Josh downstairs, eventually getting up and listening to dad and doing what he was supposed to do because he was worried about the consequence. Right, and the term we use in psychology for that is negative reinforcement, which sounds a little bit weird, but negative reinforcement is doing something that removes some unpleasant consequence.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so it's either positive reinforcement to get something I want Yep Or negative to avoid something I don't want Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And that the overriding point there is that both of those things produce the same result more of the behavior. Okay, right, the behavior is reinforced. So if you going into the kitchen and getting a snack results in you getting a snack and you'll go into the kitchen more, Well, or with my children.

Speaker 1:

If, if me telling them to stop doing something and they keep doing and they get no punishment, well that's, they know that. That reinforces that I can do what I want, regardless of what my parents.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, basically you're, you're reinforcing less actively, but but you're still reinforcing, not listening, yep, okay, so so that's what, that's what keeps us going, and the point is that those behaviors that pay off in some way just like you coming to work or stepping on the brake or whatever There's some payoff involved in it, right? So the next time you're in a similar circumstance, you're going to do the same thing because it worked right, and it's not like people sit around and calculate these things.

Speaker 2:

it just that's the way we're created. it's the way we're built, so that's how we respond.

Speaker 1:

So, as a parent, it's my job to kind of figure out what, what type of parenting supports the behavior I'm getting from my kids, whether it's positive or negative, and then alter those, be intentional with those, to move it towards what I want ultimately for my child, not just right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, you know the and you can kind of start with the behavior and go backwards. If you're seeing more of some behavior, if you're seeing more of Remi, what are we calling her? Bemi, bemi, you're saying more of Bemi escaping from you running outdoors, and that's a more common occurrence. There's some payoff to that, right, your job is to figure out, well, what's the payoff and how do I alter that environment a little bit? The payoff for her is I get to go outside and hang out and nothing bad happens, right, you're not competing with that very much by just telling her don't do that, she'll absorb a thousand. Don't do that's to go outside and play for a few minutes. Yeah, and you have to figure out well, how do I, how do I change this equation in a way that gets her to do more of what I wanted to do?

Speaker 1:

And for me that's pretty normal behavior. I think I've always been a person that you can tell me not to do something, but if I don't see any consequence, what does it really matter? Yeah, whereas for my wife this is baffling behavior because she's always been a very obedient kid.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Her parents smile or happiness or just like. Even believing that they are happy with me because I listened to them was enough motivation for her.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so when our kids don't, she's like this doesn't compute.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what is going on? So for her, the reinforcement is pleasing other people behaving in a way that you know is appropriate, reasonable, those, those are primary values for her. So if she's meeting those values, that's reinforcing for her. Where people get into trouble, and what we're going to talk about later on, somewhere before too long, is that just because those things are valuable to me does not mean that they're valuable to you. So your job is to look at your kids and say well, what, what are they valuing in this situation? What's? where's the payoff for them in this situation?

Speaker 1:

Which leads us to our Alex story. Alex at the party.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So this was at a number of years ago and I was at a relative's home and there was a party going on It was like an anniversary party or something I don't know And there's a bunch of people there, a bunch of kids and the adults are all sitting around chairs in the living room You know maybe 20 people in there And there's this kid, alex, and he's going from adult to adult And he'll stop in front of the adult and say something funny or make a rude noise or contortious phase or do something until he got a reaction from them And people would laugh and say, oh, isn't that cute, isn't that whatever? And he'd get that reaction. And then he'd go to the next adult and do something, maybe slightly more extreme, to get a reaction. And so he's engaged in this process and I'm watching him go around the room and then he got to me Oh, boy, the Grumpster.

Speaker 2:

And he got to me and he, like, rolled his eyes up in his head and stretched his mouth out and stuck out his tongue And I turned away from him. And so he walked around to where I was facing now and did some other kind of thing even more extreme And I turned away from him again. I turned back and the other I didn't even acknowledge that he was there. And then at some point I hear his mom across the room and she says Alex, leave him alone. I don't think he likes kids.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, and my thought was there's probably nobody in this room who likes kids more than I do.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's an absolute statement, Dr Tim.

Speaker 2:

That my professional life at that point is dedicated to trying to help kids do better.

Speaker 2:

Yes, but what I also knew is that I wasn't going to contribute to Alex's problem behavior, because what he wanted most out of that situation was attention, which we're going to talk about here And the way that he was getting attention was by doing these obnoxious, inappropriate, unproductive things. Everybody in that room was encouraging him to be more obnoxious, more out of control, and I wasn't going to be part of that. I mean, it wasn't my job to like discipline the kid at that point. So I did the next best thing I took away the payoff for it.

Speaker 1:

So he was getting what he wanted. There's positive reinforcement. He's getting an attention by negative, rude, silly behavior And you were looking to alter that into a better eventual outcome for your life?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or at the very least not make it worse. I mean yeah, because I actually do like kids, even like really obnoxious kids. I like.

Speaker 1:

And you seem to do well with obnoxious adults as well. He came on this podcast.

Speaker 2:

So thank you for that.

Speaker 1:

So young children and attention, that's what this whole topic has been about. So they follow the directions, say we want them to help unload the dishwasher And we ask them to help unload the dishwasher, and if they don't do it and we don't punish them, well then they know like it doesn't really matter what mom and dad say. I get to still play with my toys rather than help. But if they do it and we high five them and encourage them and we celebrate their positive behavior, well then there's positive reinforcement in that way that they realize, oh, if I do help when my parents asked me to, they enjoy it, They celebrate it.

Speaker 1:

We have a good time And that can happen. Same thing with negative behavior, with Alex sticking out his tongue if people laugh and whatever it encourages them to continue to do that all the way to prison.

Speaker 2:

We end up teaching behaviors. Usually the behaviors that we hate the most in our kids are things that we've taught them to do.

Speaker 1:

Oh my goodness, say that again. the behaviors we hate the most we've taught them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i mean think about like the Josh story. He's downstairs watching TV. His dad trained him that he didn't have to listen until he was being yelled at. So now he's got dad's got this feeling of I've got a non-compliant kid and Josh isn't doing anything wrong, he's just doing what people do. It's more enjoyable for me to be downstairs watching TV than it is to be upstairs brushing my teeth. So I'm gonna hang with that as long as I can until it makes dad makes it clear that that relationship has flipped Right. And in that particular case, once dad gets used to the idea of I'm gonna tell somebody something once, i'm gonna tell Josh something once, and if he doesn't follow that direction, then I'm gonna deliver a consequence for that. Josh's hearing will improve and they will get along better. Right, and then it changes the way dad thinks about that interaction. But attention in particular is, like, really important.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

One of the things that we have come back to like multiple times is that human beings develop very slowly, right?

Speaker 2:

Kids are pretty helpless for a long time And so, very quickly, what they learn is if I need to get along, if I'm going to get along in the world, i have to be able to get attention from adults. If your infant can't get you to react to them, then they don't survive. I mean, it's very serious business to be able to recruit attention from adults. We tend to get focused on the social aspect of it and all of that, which is important, but there's a biological thing involved here is like man, if I can't get you to pay attention to me, i'm in big trouble. So, basically, as soon as kids can focus interestingly, when kids first can focus their eyes, their focal length is about how far they are away from you when you're holding them and looking at them Wow. So they start connecting with your face and start learning how to flirt with you and get you to pay attention to them and all of those kind of things. It's very serious business.

Speaker 1:

So a little piece there of the intelligent design of how God has created us. Yeah, it's the way we're made.

Speaker 2:

Right, think about like 10,000 times when your kids have brought you some like macaroni sculpture or something Dad, dad, look at this, look at this. Or they're flipping around in the backyard and you talked about your daughter up in the tree, yes, an episode or two ago and it was like dad, look at me, like, help get me down, whatever. Whatever She was just trying to recruit attention from you.

Speaker 2:

Right, And it seems like that slips away as they get older. but there's still a lot to be gained from, you know, paying positive attention to kids even into adolescence. But whatever you pay attention to, basically the take on point is what you pay attention to is what you're going to get more of.

Speaker 1:

So what you pay attention to grows. So if you pay the majority of your attention to negative behavior, stop doing this, stop doing that, put that away, stop talking so loudly. You're being obnoxious, your attitude is bad. You're going to get more of those negative behaviors. Yeah, if you give your attention towards positive things thank you for listening. You do such a good job with dot dot dot you'll get more of those positive behaviors, right?

Speaker 2:

And particularly if there's no other consequence involved. So you notice a negative behavior. That's a good way for a kid to recruit attention from you and there's no reason not to do it. Yeah, and then they'll do more of it. And I've seen kids do some really, really extreme things to get attention from a parent who otherwise wouldn't respond to them, because a parent is inattentive or distracted by their own life experiences or whatever. And so kids keep escalating their behavior until they can get a parent to respond to it, even if that response is not good. I mean, i've had kids who would do things to get a parent to yell at them, because that was the only kind of attention they could get And it was the best way for them to do that.

Speaker 1:

Well, the reality is this doesn't really change. As adults I mean adults do wild and crazy things to get attention as well, And those are probably things that they learn from a young age. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's basically the rationale for social media. Right, there you go. Yeah, wow. So yeah, i'm sorry, go ahead.

Speaker 1:

So the take home for today's, because we're going to talk about a lot of things in these podcasts, but for today, to boil it down, it's to notice the behavior that you approve of in your kids and let them know you appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's not hard.

Speaker 1:

Cheered them on in the good behavior. When we were having a lot of struggles with our second child, data Jada, and we went to Boys Sound and learned some of the Boys Sound way. That was one of the things they said. Five to one. Five to one was a ratio five encouragements to everyone, command Not even criticism, but command. That was shocking to us because the command is put that away, come over here, stop doing that. And if we gave five encouragements to every one of those, that really changed. We had to be looking for positive things from our kids to actually cheer them on. So notice behavior you approve of and let your kids know you appreciate it, and make sure that so much more attention is paid to behavior than to bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and sometimes that's an encouraging word, sometimes that's a thanks for doing that. Whatever, but especially with younger kids, you can communicate a ton just with touch.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right, and in some ways that can be better. The kid who's playing quietly by themselves with toys and you just walk by and just put your hand on their shoulder for a second and let's them know that you notice what's going on and you approve of it, but you're not interrupting the process to do that Right. And so there's this old saying in pediatric psychology catch kids being good, catch them being good, and in my opinion that's waiting too long. Catch them being okay Anytime they're doing anything. That's just okay. Just living, not causing any difficulty there within your expectations. Notice that, yeah, praise and touch are free. Yes, they're portable. There's no reason to be stingy with them. Yeah, we should.

Speaker 1:

Right. An example of this that we saw in our family was, like I forget which one of our kids, but they loved to. They would like tap their eating utensil on the table while they were chewing, and what we decided was we're not going to say anything about that, but at times, like when they stopped doing that to purposely be like, i love it when we are able to eat as a family peacefully And thank you, thank you for not trapping your fork.

Speaker 2:

So that's differential reinforcement of other behavior.

Speaker 1:

Now I don't know what you're saying.

Speaker 2:

So whatever we that we're 10 years in college. I feel like I should get some value out of all that money spent and have some and, believe it or not, people are smarter than him folks.

Speaker 1:

So if you are feeling like me, don't worry. It's all a spectrum on this crazy thing we call life, and the take home point is not that difficult, we can all do it. Notice the behaviors you're approved of and let your kid know you appreciate those behaviors. Make sure you give so much more attention to the positive than to the bad.

Speaker 2:

This goes for the adults around you as well. Okay, never hurts to notice when something good is going on.

Speaker 1:

Tim, thank you for those words of wisdom. And y'all jot down some notes, take these with you. You'll forget them by tomorrow, by next week, by next month. So let's learn together, contributing these discussions with your friends too, not as a know it all, but as people who want to help other people. Do this well, all of us parents, we need you, we need each other's help, and our kids, they need it, so that they can one day leave It's productive, happy, self-regulating, wonderful creations as they are. So this has been it for another Beyond Sunday Podcast Parenting Edition with Dr Tim Riley. Have a great day.

Parenting
Teaching Consequences and Understanding Behavior
Understanding Reinforcement in Parenting
Positive Attention in Child Development
Positive Parenting Tips and Support