Resisting the Urge to be Negative

I like to think of myself as a generally positive and optimistic person, but sometimes, when I sit back and listen to myself talk, I realize how much negativity I let creep into my comments. When it comes to how we talk to and with our children, resisting the urge to say something with a negative slant can make us better and more positive parents (and it might just change the way our children speak and act too.) Sarcasm, aggravation, annoyance–all of those creep into my tone and speech, often without my even realizing it. While I may feel basically … Continue reading

Negative Reaction Addiction – Could Your Child Have It?

Regardless of your child’s diagnostic “label” (or lack thereof), if your son or daughter is persistently defiant and difficult, he or she might just have an addiction. In this case I’m not talking about a drug addiction, but an addiction to the negative reactions of others. In their book, Transforming the Difficult Child, Howard Glasser, MA, and Jennifer Easley, MA describe difficult children as being “literally addicted to negative reactions.” It sounds a little peculiar, but it makes sense. Some children continue to defy authority, rebel, throw tantrums, and do inappropriate things over and over again. (I’m referring to children … Continue reading

When Your Kid THRIVES on Negative Attention

My husband and I were having dinner recently with friends, and we began to discuss our similar experiences with having a child who thrives on negative attention. As our friends talked about their situation, we nodded and could definitely relate. We have a child just like theirs–one who seems to be in trouble all the time, whose noise volume is three decibels louder than everyone else’s in the room, and who always wants to cause conflict. This got me thinking. What are the positive aspects of negative attention? Why would any child WANT it? Here’s what I came up with: … Continue reading

Who Are You and What Have You Done with my Child?

For a child who doesn’t handle change well, divorce can be a huge setback. They are experiencing so many changes all at once that they can easily be overwhelmed with the emotion of everything. As young children they have not yet learned how to express what they are feeling and as a result often lash out. This is common even in children whose parents are still together. However, a divorce is often the trigger because of the intensity of the changes that they are going through. I remember how hard those first few months were for my son. All of … Continue reading

When Name-Calling is an Issue–Part One

Name-calling can be a family problem and you might think that since no one is actually allowed to call people dummies in your house that name calling isn’t an issue. You might be surprised to discover all the different sorts of negative speaking that falls into the name-calling category. Telling another person that they are being mean, nasty, horrible, selfish, messy, etc. can all be ways of calling names. Whether it is the parent or a child, making negative statements about another person or people is name-calling. Before you tackle name-calling amidst siblings or with the children, you might need … Continue reading