Parents want to raise happy children. In all of the many parenting workshops I run, regardless of their parenting style, cultural background or socioeconomic status, all the parents want their kids to be happy, healthy and successful. The problem is that parents whose kids are not happy, healthy and successful do not understand how they contribute to this. They just cannot see how their parenting focus and the attention they give to problematic things creates these problems.
When children do not behave like we want them to and when they do things we do not like, we tend to pay attention to their behavior more than when they behave like we want them to and when they do things we like. This attitude only makes them continue to behave “badly” and creates a never-ending cycle of attention to “bad” behavior.
When pay attention to the problems, the problems keep growing, and then we pay attention to them more and we trap ourselves and our kids in this dysfunctional parenting style. In life, we get what we focus on. Some call it “the law of attraction”, I call it “the flashlight model”.