Every parenting book I have read says the same thing, from potty training to teenage crises. Give praise. Praise your child when they do something well so they don’t start the bad attention seeking behavior that is just for attention. Use praise as a tool to help curb bad behavior by only praising good behavior. As parents, when do we get praised?
Let me tell you a story.
When my sons were about a year old we took all the kids out to a restaurant. It was a Sunday afternoon and the place was pretty packed. As soon as we walked in we got the stares. You know the ones I’m talking about. The looks you get that say, “Great here comes the loud group, let’s hurry up and finish so we can leave.” We sat down. I toys for the boys to play with and the other kids knew how to behave in a restaurant. We went through the meal with no meltdowns. All the kids ate and our table was quieter than some of the adults. When we were almost finished our meal and older lady walked over to my table and tapped me on the shoulder. Then she said, “Those are the most well behaved kids I have ever seen, kudos to you, you’re doing a great job.” I felt like I was ten feet tall. Here was a stranger coming over to tell me, I was doing a good job. That incident made me think. Why don’t people do this more often? Why don’t I?
I would like to say that every parent gets a high five from their spouse or other people when they do it right. When they stick to their guns despite the meltdown in the store. We all know that doesn’t occur. Most often when our children go nuclear out in public its stares and comments made under their breath that we get. Mutterings that go something like, “just give the kid what he wants” or “wow, they’re a great parent” and that’s meant to be sarcastic. What the Lookey Lou’s don’t know is this, you are a great parent. Great parents don’t give into their child’s every whim just to keep them quiet. While knee deep in your child’s meltdown, you’re teaching him that his behavior is not acceptable and you are choosing to ignore him until he acts right. People should be walking up to you and giving you high fives instead of eye rolls.
All I ever hear are complaints about children these days. They are spoiled, they have no respect and you get the drift. Here’s a question, how do you think they got that way? Kids weren’t born selfish, greedy, hard to get along with jerks. They are groomed to be that way by always getting their way and many other things I’m not going to get into here. It would just take too long. So they next time you are out and about and you see a parent struggling to control their child because they don’t want to give in to them. Walk over, give them a high five and tell them to carry on. They are doing the world a favor by not raising another spoiled overindulged brat. That is all.