Attention: Let’s Go For the Good

My youngest daughter finally has to pay the consequences for destroying property. During a temper tantrum the other day, she slapped my wife’s digital camera out of her hands- and it hit the ground. With the lens now broken, at least my daughter admitted that she needs to pay for the item- including tax I might add- and will be spending time doing chores to work off the item.

Afterward we had a discussion about what seems to be troubling her these days. After a few minutes figuring out what it wasn’t, she admitted that negative attention is better than no attention at all- and she feels like she hasn’t been receiving enough physical affection from us as a family. Ergo, if I’m not getting my needs met, I’ll resort to putting other people through pain because that’s what I know best.

We asked her how that’s been going lately- and she admitted it hasn’t been working. It’s easier for me to reward positive behavior and catch people doing the right thing and also ignore negative behaviors. If someone is being toxic, I just tune them out and eventually they get the message that when they decide to be real, respectful and responsible I will tune back in.

What amazes me about my children is for how verbal they are, they chose not to express their true feelings in the moment- we end up having to spend hours in back and forth interchange to get down to the true problem at hand. Maybe they are worried that they will be punished for expressing their feelings. Maybe they think we won’t take their feelings seriously. But I believe we’ve always been an open, honest family in that we give people a chance to work on their feelings, problem solve and come to resolutions- even if it’s a temporary one.

So it may be tough to work on with your children, or even other family members, but spend more time rewarding positive attention and let’s go for the good in life rather than shifting focus all the time on the negative. Show an interest in what your children love and you may be surprised how positively they react. My oldest daughter right now has a spring in her step as she tries out for cheerleading again. My youngest daughter is interested in this as well so they are bonding better while she goes through these practice sessions.

It’s hard to believe that we are a little over three weeks away from Christmas. I’m hoping that everyone have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. I’ve been under the weather the past 24 hours, it appears that we all took turns passing around a bug and I think I was the last one to get it. I have a number of things that I’ve been caught behind on that I hope to catch up with by the end of the week. My first bowling tournament of the season will happen this weekend in Brattleboro, VT- and I hope to get the season off to a strong start. I have year end lists to complete for my music websites I contribute to and more albums that have trickled in to review.

Keep going for the good in all that you strive to achieve.

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