Critical Comments Flow Freely from Parents

Do you make more positive comments or negative comments to your children? If you're like most parents, you make a lot more negative comments than positive ones. In her book, Building Moral Intelligence, Dr. Michele Borba writes "studies reveal that the average parent makes 18 critical comments to his child for every one positive comment."

Really? Could we really be making that many critical comments to our children? In their article, "Why Our Kids Are Out of Control", Azerrad and Change report "Glenn Latham, Ed.D., a family and educational consultant, has found that adults typically ignore 90 percent or more of the good things children do. Instead, they pay attention to children when they behave badly."

Sadly the research clearly indicates that parents easily fall into the habit of paying more attention to misbehavior than good behavior.

Getting Attention for Misbehavior

Whenever you find yourself yelling at your kids or nagging them, you're focusing on the behavior you don't want. Statements like these focus on children's misbehavior:
  • "Stop whining!"
  • "Don't look at me that way."
  • "You're wasting time - now get going on your homework."
  • "Quit your fighting!"
  • "Don't lie to me."
By giving attention to misbehavior, we actually increase the chance that the misbehavior will be repeated. This isn't what we want!

(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)

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