Praise backfires & purposefully annoying - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-06-2011, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ds is 7 yo. I adore him, but over the last year his behavior has gotten
More and more difficult. I don't like to focus on negative behaviors, I want to praise the good and ignore the bad in most cases. Thing is, if I point out a good behavior, he instantly changes what he's doing to the exact thing I'm trying to avoid. (for example: "you're sharing with your sister! I like what I'm seeing!" results in him snatching away sisters current toy and generally treating her badly). This happens no matter the behavior. What is this?? How do I deal with this?

Another current difficult behavior is him purposefully annoying us. If he finds out something bothers us, he does it repeatedly. I've tried ignoring the behavior, thinking it would get boring and he'd stop, but he's relentless. For example, he loves to say the word "butt". Now, I am really laid back about words like that, I only asked him to stop when he his little cousin is around (his patents don't approve of "potty words"). The more I tell him to stop, the more he does it. I've tried praising when he's not saying, but that just results in him saying it. I've tried time outs, joining him in the butt chant..... This has been going on about 6 months and he can literally say it 50 times an hour.

My 2 yo ds does it as well as she's copying brother. It's obnoxious and I need them to stop.

Ds also encourages dd to take off her diaper and then an entire other problem begins. Dd sticks her naked butt up at whoever is nearby and laughs.

It kind of sounds funny, and would be if it was an isolated incident or even occasional. It's daily.

Any advice? I'm worried that dd is going to develop issues as She can't so much as have a diaper change without ds making a huge deal about her butt.

Oh this all sounds so odd. Help!!
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#2 of 6 Old 11-07-2011, 04:41 AM
 
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LOL, it actually doesn't sound all that odd, 7 year olds are annoying... they really are. My son is 8 and I remember him doing very similar things. Honestly, my best advice is still to praise the good behavior but do it AFTERWARDS. Instead of praising during the moment, after it's all over say something like "Hey, I noticed how well you were sharing with your sister when you were playing _____ and it made me really proud." That way he doesn't have a chance to reverse the behavior because it's already done.

As for DD copying her brother.... Well, when I find THAT secret, I'll let you know. My DD thinks DS is the moon and the stars and does EVERYTHING he does. I try to encourage her that it's not appropriate but she still really likes to fart on people... no matter how hard I try to discourage it, lol. Honestly though, while annoying, I don't think it will have any long term effects. They'll move on to something else equally as annoying soon... it's the nature of kids, I guess, lol.

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#3 of 6 Old 11-07-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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My ds is that age and LOVES what we call "potty words/sounds", which covers body part names, noises they make, and their "actions", so though burping may not be something that happens on the potty we still call it a potty word. Something we instituted when ds started therapy for ADHD was posting the "house rules" (about 5); violations of the house rules are 1 warning followed by a timed time-out, one minute per year of age (ds was completely uncooperative with time-outs before medication so we hadn't used them much before). When we followed this consistently it did cut down on the number of instances.

 

 


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#4 of 6 Old 11-08-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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OMG, I am laughing so hard as this is a daily occurrence at our house!  I have two boys, 4 and 7 and they are obsessed with potty words, naked butts, etc.!  And of course the copying, and encouraging the younger to wiggle his butt and they laugh, I soooo hope this passes as it drives me nuts and I can't imagine what other parents think!  I am sure that the more I get upset about it, the more they do it as it's "forbidden" and "bad". lol

 

We've had the same issue re: doing the opposite when I praise good behaviour.  I like the idea of praising later.

 

I'm just so relieved it's not just us!


Kathy

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#5 of 6 Old 11-09-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeybum View Post

OMG, I am laughing so hard as this is a daily occurrence at our house!  I have two boys, 4 and 7 and they are obsessed with potty words, naked butts, etc.!  And of course the copying, and encouraging the younger to wiggle his butt and they laugh, I soooo hope this passes as it drives me nuts and I can't imagine what other parents think!  I am sure that the more I get upset about it, the more they do it as it's "forbidden" and "bad". lol

 

We've had the same issue re: doing the opposite when I praise good behaviour.  I like the idea of praising later.

 

I'm just so relieved it's not just us!


Kathy



Yup, boys are 4.5 and almost 7 here... exactly the same thing!  I overlook it unless it's at the dining table.  DH doesn't want to hear it ever.   I'm pretty sure it's the age and definitely they are not the only ones finding it hilarious!! 

As for the praise, some people (me included) don't really like being praised.  It kind of feels like it's turning the situation around so that suddenly they are doing it to please you, instead of just choosing to do it, or even just naturally doing it. Like it changes who is in control or something.   I'm thinking if it's something you are actively trying to encourage and teach, you could have a little chart posted where you sneak a star sticker on there when you catch him doing something good.  Then he'd see the stars later and you could explain what it was that you were impressed with.   Otherwise, just a smile or ignoring and letting the kids just enjoy each other while they're getting along should be enough.   Sometimes I mention to both of them how nice it is that they are getting along and working things out with each other so well lately.   So it's praising both of them together.

 

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#6 of 6 Old 11-11-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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Sorry, no help here. DS isn't even 4 yet and we're struggling with potty words here, too. One of the moms in our playgroup said, "It's just the age. You know boys...." But apparently, it's NOT the age, it's the start of a several-years-long stream of potty language! Argh. I guess at some point you learn to tune it out/get used to it?

 

I am also seeing the same issue with praise backfiring with DS. As soon as I tell him, "You know, I had a really great morning with you. You were SO helpful and cooperative and I really enjoyed being with you," that's it. He turns around and purposely does something like making a huge mess or refusing to listen to me when I ask him to do something simple, like wash up for lunch. Did I already say "ARGH?"

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