Ep. 14: Ignore It! with Catherine Pearlman

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In Episode 14 of the Sunshine Parenting podcast, I interview Catherine Pearlman, founder of The Family Coach.  She co-hosts (with her sports writer husband, Jeff Pearlman) The Sports Parent podcast and is author of the recently released parenting book, Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. 

We have an enlightening discussion about the book and it’s applicability not just to the younger set (toddlers) but to teens and young adults, as well. As I said in the interview, I wasn’t sure I’d find this book helpful with my teenage sons, but I already have found success using Pearlman’s Ignore It! technique, which is not quite as simple as it sounds. In the book Pearlman outlines the occasions when ignoring behavior is appropriate, how to reengage when the behavior stops, and how to praise and reinforce desired behaviors. I was, of course, happy to hear that Pearlman has vast summer camp experience as a camper, counselor, and director!

The book jacket description is accurate:

This book teaches frustrated, stressed-out parents that selectively ignoring certain behaviors can actually inspire positive changes in their kids.

With all the whining, complaining, begging, and negotiating, parenting can seem more like a chore than a pleasure. Dr. Catherine Pearlman, syndicated columnist and one of America’s leading parenting experts, has a simple yet revolutionary solution: Ignore It!

Dr. Pearlman’s four-step process returns the joy to child rearing. Combining highly effective strategies with time-tested approaches, she teaches parents when to selectively look the other way to withdraw reinforcement for undesirable behaviors. Too often we find ourselves bargaining, debating, arguing and pleading with kids. Instead of improved behavior parents are ensuring that the behavior will not only continue but often get worse. When children receive no attention or reward for misbehavior, they realize their ways of acting are ineffective and cease doing it. Using proven strategies supported by research, this book shows parents how to:

– Avoid engaging in a power struggle

– Stop using attention as a reward for misbehavior

– Use effective behavior modification techniques to diminish and often eliminate problem behaviors

As Pearlman says, the book is for parents of kids from 2-21, but the techniques might also be useful in other settings, including with adults who have difficult behaviors!

Let me know what you think about the podcast and the book! Comment here or send me an email.

Resources/Links:

The Family Coach Website

Ignore It! How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. 

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