I read this today and thought it is a good reminder, especially as you add new little spirits to your family, it is easy to let the older ones coast through the day until they do something you don't approve of.
These are blips from the book "Parenting with Love" by Glenn Latham.
"Behavior is Largely a Productof It's Immediate Environment." He goes on to explain, "Simplyput, fix the environment and you will fix the behavior. The first lesson to be learned by parents is the importance of creating anenvironment in the home that will encourage and reinforce appropriate behavior." (Latham p.1)
He later goes on to state: "Of all the consequences that reinforce the behavior of children, I have found nothing to be more powerfulthan parental attention. Over the years, as I have worked with families, I have been interested to note that, on average, morethan 95 percent of all appropriate child behavior never receives any parental attention whatsoever. It is simply ignored, very much in harmony with that unfortunate, generations-old caution to 'leavewell enough alone.' On the other hand, parents are five to six times more likely to pay attention to their children when the children are behaving inappropriately..."
"...which behaviors are being reinforced? The answer is obvious: annoying, inappropriate behaviors. For the most part, ironically,the very behaviors that annoy and concern parents most are the very behaviors parents are encouraging; hence, those are the behaviors that are most likely to reoccur predictably. We have spotted the enemy, and it is us!" (Latham p. 13,14)
Glenn goes on to suggest that "parents have numerous positive interactions with their children per hour, interactions that are delivered intermittently in the form of a touch, a wink, a smile,or a pleasant verbal acknowledgement of what was done that brought parental attention. It is not unreasonable for parents to aim at having twenty or more brief, intermittent positive interactions per hour with their children, particularly young children, four to five years old and below. The result will be high rates of appropriate behavior and few if any inappropriate behaviors." (p.29)
I find this works well with spouses too. ;o) Focus on the positive and express it.
This is just a random picture of S and our crazy kitten. The boys thought it would be great if S held him. I don't know if S thought the same thing.(I'm afraid this is just the beginning of the boys thinking something would be great and S not thinking that it is very great.)