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Fit and Well Idaho: Psychologist suggests ignoring negative behaviors in children

It is also important as a parent to recognize the behaviors you want them to repeat
One child psychologist at St. Luke’s is stressing the importance of planned ignoring when your child is exhibiting behavior you don’t want them to repeat
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 4:58 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — One child psychologist at St. Luke’s is stressing the importance of planned ignoring when your child is exhibiting behavior you don’t want them to repeat.

Kelsie Hendrickson says that children feed off of attention, so if a parent is giving a child a lot of attention whenever they throw a fit or display negative behavior, the child will continue with that behavior because they know they get attention from it.

Instead of giving them attention for behaviors, you don’t want them to repeat, try ignoring that behavior completely.

It is also important as a parent to recognize the behaviors you want them to repeat.

“Clearly we don’t want to ignore a behavior that is unsafe, so if it is unsafe, we need to deal with that and give them some attention, to keep them safe,” said Kelsie Hendrickson, a psychologist at St. Luke’s. “But maybe putting the child in their room or putting them in a time out chair depending on their age, and then focusing on when they are calm, even if it’s for a few brief seconds, really giving them some positive attention.”

She says this will be difficult to do, and parents won’t see results overnight.

She says sometimes children’s behavior will get worse before it gets better.

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