Nothing seems to work as incentives for my child. Does he really not care?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,415
    Julie Greenlee offers advice on what to do if nothing seems to work with disciplining for your child.

    Julie Greenlee

    Julie Greenlee, Certified Love & Logic Instructor.    Julie is currently Program Director at For Children’s Sake Emergency Diagnostic Center, a child placing agency specializing in therapeutic foster care, adoption, and residential treatment.  There she works with the most defiant children. She has received trainings on Childhood Differential Diagnoses, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Autism and Asbergers, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Children and Families with HIV/AIDS, and has become a certified facilitator of Love and Logic which is the philosophy and core that For Children's Sake uses to teach both parents, staff, and community members, on appropriate and effective ways to parent and discipline a normal to extremely defiant child.

    Nothing seems to work as incentives for my child. Does he really not care? Julie Grenlee: Of Course your child cares, the biggest incentives is probably having a good relationship with you. So we want to make sure that we remain as the good guy. We do that through emphatic statements, which I am going to talk a little bit later, but we always want to be loving to them. They will tell that they don t care, they will tell you that it s stupid, they will tell you that back- off, get away, I hate you, that does not mean that they have stopped caring.

    One of the things that s really important to remember is to involve your child in how he is being raised. We want to you use positive reinforcement as much as possible. We want to be strength based as much as possible. Every time our child is successful, we want to make sure that we have told them that, we want to make sure that we continually tell him or her how proud we are of them.

    We want to ask them, hey! What s really important to you? Teenagers might say a new CD, going out with their friends, a new pair of jeans, designer tennis shoes. Little kids probably have one of the latest toys or else in mind, that s really important to them and that s then something that they can t earn and you are going to set those limits with them.

    If they are able to do such and such, then they can go earn that. If they are able to keep from doing such and such then they are able to go earn that. One of the things that we do as parents is we automatically assume that certain things are important to our kids, that Nintendo is important, that TV time, that friend time is the most important thing to them and so then when we take that away and our kid doesn t respond, we automatically think of him as apathetic, when that s probably not the case.

    We just didn t find the right reinforcer and so when we involve our kids with that and we allow them to tell us what s important, then we can use that to get our child to make better choices.