Ep. 53: Bad Behavior? Ignore It!

Ep. 53: Bad Behavior? Ignore It!

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Episode Summary

Catherine Pearlman, author of Ignore It, explains how to make bad behavior stop by pretending you don’t notice it. Discover Catherine’s secret strategies for eliminating annoying behaviors on this episode. Learn what you can ignore and what you can’t as well as how to re-engage after the behavior stops.

Full Show Notes

This week Dr. Catherine Pearlman joins the show for a conversation about her book Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. After years of coaching young mothers as a social worker, Dr. Pearlman founded the Family Coach, where she visits family homes and coaches parents through their most stressful time of day.

Catherine’s interview includes a dissection of how exactly the Ignore It! principles work. It’s not about ignoring your teen – rather, it’s about ignoring your teen’s bad antics so your teen stops repeating them!

Dr. Pearlman also clarifies when you should NOT ignore things. Most important on the list of things to not ignore? Good behavior!

In this episode we cover:

  • How to negotiating with your teen may be back-firing
  • Exactly how the Ignore It! method works
  • What to expect the first time you ‘ignore it’
  • How a ‘negative’ response can still be rewarding
  • Natural consequences and how to use them

Dr. Pearlman writes the column “Dear Family Coach”, which has been syndicated in publications like the Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, Sports Illustrated, and the Huffington Post. I’m excited to be sharing all that parenting wisdom in this interview!

The 27-minute public version is free to listen to, and the 43-minute extended version, packed with extra goodies, is reserved for site members. Log in or start a free trial to access everything our site has to offer!

Parenting Scripts

Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen

1. To resist giving into immediate negotiations with your teen:

Let’s table that request until tomorrow because I would like to talk to your sister about it. But I’m really glad you brought it up.” OR “Let me think about the request – give me five minutes.”

-Catherine Pearlman

2.  Instead of going over how your teens’ latest drama-tantrum affected you, move past it with:

(Members Only)

Workbook Exercises

Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview

1. Behavior Response Log:

Catherine discusses how she will often have parents keep a log for a few days. In the log the parents jot down when they say something positive to their kids about good behavior and when they say something negative about bad behavior. Catherine has noted that more often than not, the first few days are heavy on the negative and light on the positive. The problem with this is that when good behavior goes unrewarded*, it usually disappears. To get started on the log, jot down a heading for “Praise/thanks” and “criticisms.” Try to recall your previous day to get the lists started. As you progress through several days, see if you can get the two lists to be fairly balanced. After you achieve that, see if you can get the “praise/thanks” list to be greater than the “criticisms.”

2.  Get a List of Compliments Going:

(Members Only)

3.  Your Top 3 (Part 1 of 2):

(Members Only)

4.  Measurable, Specific Aims (Part 2 of 2):

(Members Only)

About Catherine Pearlman

Dr. Catherine Pearlman is the founder of The Family Coach and devoted mom to two teens and one dog. In addition to her nationally syndicated column “Dear Family Coach” Catherine has appeared on the Today’s Show several times as a parenting expert.

Want More Catherine Pearlman?

You can find Catherine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.