"Oh just ignore it."

[deleted account] ( 34 moms have responded )

How many of you appreciate this advice? How many of you think it is appropriate to just "ignore" your children's behavior issues?
Personally, I think it's lazy. If your CAR payments were two months behind..ignoring it is ONLY going to make the problem worse.
Do you think that maybe by ignoring our problems, are we teaching our children to ignore their OWN problems? Are we teaching them to avoid issues that they don't feel like they should BOTHER addressing? (ignore it..and it will go away?)

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Lacye - posted on 06/16/2011

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I don't see how ignoring bad behavior (temper tantrums, screaming) is going to teach a child to avoid issues when they get older. It teaches them bad behavior does not get them the attention that they want.

Charlie - posted on 06/16/2011

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It isnt that simple there is much more to ignoring it than just ignoring it.

A car payment doesnt have behavioural or emotional issues to deal with so it's not relevent .

It isnt about ignoring it completley , young children want attention sometimes it doesnt matter if it is good or bad attention as long as they get, it every parent should know their child well enough to know when this is happening , ignoring the child is a great way to NOT feed that attention seeking behaviour , you pay attention and you have done exactly what they want .

Now ignoring them needs to stop once they have realised their actions are futile , once they are calm again THAT is when you pay attention and explain that they will only get your attention when they behave in a calm manner and not during a tantrum .

This is teaching them that :
Tantrum ( attention seeking type ) = ignore behaviour .
calm behaviour = full attention .

Of course young children have little impulse control , it wont take the first time but it will teach them a great lesson .

I disagree that it is teaching them to ignore their problems , when done the right way it teaches them to control their emotions and how to use acceptable behaviour when they need your attention , even I need a time out when I am upset or angry , I go somewhere quiet relax and then deal with the problem once I am calm and rational .....why wouldnt I want my kids to be able to do that , far too many people in society fly off at the handle without thinking ...that is not what I want for them.

It is hardly lazy , it takes time and patience of a saint to help them wade through their emotions and learn to take control of it , it is hard work but it is worth it to be able to see your child in control of themselves ....

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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I think it depends on the age of the child. For a baby and in toddlers especially, it simply means not to draw too much attention to the behaviour. It is usually a developmental phase that will pass.

This article talks about it in detail:

http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/s...



Obviously, if the problem behaviour does develop into a habitual behaviour then you will have to take on more reactive measures than proactive. But imo you start with proactive disciplinary measures foremost.



With physically harmful behaviours, removal of the child to safe place where they cannot harm anyone or anything and then ignoring is helpful. (ie: time out, putting the child down and walking away, removing yourself if the physical 'attack' is made on you)



Edited to add a better link. ;)

Erin - posted on 06/16/2011

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My daughter is 28 months, and her tantrums are short (but brutal) BECAUSE I ignore them. You can not reason or converse with a toddler in the middle of a tantrum. My daughter was an early talker, and that has helped me ward off many tantrums because she has been able to explain what her problem is. Huge advantage of having a chatterbox lol. But, despite her verbal skills, emotionally she is still only 2. So she may throw a shitfit in the moment, I ignore it, then when she is calm I ask her what's wrong. She will tell me, in detail, 100% of the time. She can identify her emotions, she just doesn't always have control over them. Once she regains that control we discuss the issue and I explain what has to happen and why ('No we're not finger painting now because it's not even 7am and Mummy hasn't had her second coffee yet!! lol).

This approach has worked with my child. It's not going to work for every child. But I see nothing lazy about ignoring a negative behaviour, so long as the issue is addressed shortly after and the parents' reaction is consistent.

[deleted account]

Depends on the child.

My 2 year old, I'd ignore him during a strop/tantrum... if I could stop myself from laughing at him.
If I tell him "no" he's runs to Daddy crying "mamma maa" and pointing at the evil lady. If Dad tells him "no" he runs to me crying "dada da" pointing at the evil man. My Dad told him "no" whilst visiting so Lucas got his coat to go home. And if he has no one to complain to about the unfair treatment he strategically places himself in the place he is least likely to hurt himself. Carefully he sits down before rolling into tantrum position.

My eldest, now 8, could NOT be ignored as a toddler. His tantrums quickly became violent meltdowns. Obviously he is an extreme case with his autism.

You can't make sweeping statements as to how appropriate disciplines are for every child. All children are different. Some children you can ignore and they will naturally give up on a tantrum themselves. Some children you can reason with and explain. And some kids you have to fight, kicking and screaming, before they hurt themselves beyond a level of acceptable "natural" consequences.

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[deleted account]

I feel the need to say this since autism keeps getting mentioned. My son used to have autistic meltdowns .... Ignore them? Not friggin' lightly!

They were violent and dangerous. Publicly I'd restrain him the best I could, I would remove him from the situation, at home I'd put him in his room. As for punishment, if he'd trashed his room, he'd damn well help tidy it again. What I wouldn't do is put on a show for others as to "the correct parenting response", frankly I was dealing with more than they could understand and didn't care less what people thought of me. It was between me and my child.

With an autistic child you accept that it is a natural reaction for them but you still need to teach them that it's not acceptable behaviour. You can't do that by ignoring them.

Sal - posted on 06/29/2011

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i am all for ignoring a tantrum, it really worked well with my daughter, and no it is not lazy, do you know how much effort it takes to not react, and it is (i have found) the reaction that the kid wants, i also suggested igoring biting, if possible don;t pay attention to the biter but to the the child bitten, again it is because of having tried this approach with my child, and it worked in 1 attempt, simple, if it works do it,
to ignor behaviour that is dangerous no......but after removing them from the danger the naughter corner is maybe appropriate, and i see the naughty corner as a type of no reaction action, just like ignoring

Melissa - posted on 06/28/2011

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It depends on the type of behavior. My kids had a list of questions they recycled ALL DAY long. "can I do this? No...Can I have a snack? Not now...Can I watch this? No". When they would get done with the list they would start from the top. I began to ignore...not lazy, took nerves of steel.



Now a temper tantrum is something I could never ignore (unless there are mitigating factors, such as autism). My younger bro was the tantrum king, complete with biting and hair pulling. I always swore I would nip it immediately with my kids. One day my daughter, about 3 (which would make my son abt 1.5) was upset that I had to go to work. I attempted to console her but it was useless. I saw it coming and warned her once to settle down. As soon as she dropped to the floor and started the head spinning and screaming, I hit the deck too. I was flailing around on the floor crying and screaming for about 5 seconds before there was complete silence. Both of my kids were just blinking at me. I asked if we were done, tucked the kiddies in bed, told bedtime stories and went to work. Randa never threw fit number two and baby Ricky never threw one at all.



I strongly feel that we should all have our limits and that was mine. It couldn't be ignored.

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2011

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I ignore my sons regressive behaviour. He has reverted to trying to steal the baby's bottle and drink it when I put it down to burp her, screaming when he doesn't get what he wants, pointing at nothing and screaming, sitting in the baby's swing (when she's not in it), crawling instead of walking, throwing food when he knows how to eat. We ignore it and carry on with our dinner because drawing attention to it gives him what he wants... more attention. I give him time out if he hits the baby, hits us, throws stuff at the baby.

Dana - posted on 06/16/2011

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Jennifer, oy....the whining. That's actually a new thing for my one month shy of a 3 yr old boy. It's about to drive me batty since I'm also 5 months pregnant. I find my tolerance level is not what it normally is.

Melissa - posted on 06/16/2011

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i think it is all situation based and child based. You have children that are autistic who will have the autistic fits, and can "LOOK" normal at times and all of a sudden turn around and throw their tantrums, and the parents will not punish them because it's part of their behaviors and it's situation based and you got to work with each child as an individual. You also remember that if you pick to fight every battle you will not be an effective parent. If you set what you are going to be firm on EVERY time and then let those things that you will let slip every now and then on your child's days they are having rough days- they won't feel like they are having a hurt confidence all the time. You want to base each child as an individual an not base each childs behavior the same!

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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Dana, mine too. Now the whinning is a different story! Let's just say it's a work in progress.

Dana - posted on 06/16/2011

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Eh, to each their own. My son hardly throws tantrums because I've always ignored them. When he does, it lasts of all 5 seconds because I ignore it still. He's no fool.

Rosie - posted on 06/16/2011

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if you engaged your child in the middle of a tantrum, they learn that they get attention for that behavior, and the behavior will continue. ignore the behavior and they will eventually learn that that behavior isn't going to work for them.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/16/2011

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My kid is 24 months and there are definitely tantrums I ignore. Like if she wants me to put on Dora all day, well that ain't gonna happen. I have managed to learn how to prevent a lot of tantrums, but every once in a while she'll have a doozy for a reason like that and then you just have to walk away. When she has calmed down we have a talk about why we can't watch Dora all day or why we can't have cake for snack. To me that is not doing nothing. There is simply no reasoning with her when she's all freaked out like that. I don't believe in punishing for these things because she's just still learning about the world. I mean really, if you knew nothing of health and nutrition you might wonder why we weren't all eating cake all the time too, right? So I think my job is to try and teach her this stuff through explanation and proper modeling. I can't do that bit when she's freaking out so I have to wait until she's done that bit on her own.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/16/2011

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Before the age of two or so, most punishment won't work. The child is not yet to the developmental stage that they will connect punishment with the crime. The only way it is not useless is that you're beginning to teach them consistency, which is a good thing - depending on how you discipline. If it's something like smacking, etc, in my opinion it's flat out abuse at that age - and please understand that I'm not against smacking in the way many parents on these forums are. If it's something like saying, "I know you want/feel , but that's not how we behave when we ," then it's establishing good habits for the long term and consistency.

That's not the same as ignoring it though. Ignoring it is what you do when you're too upset to respond appropriately and consistently with the method of discipline you have chosen. Then - oh yes, you should ignore it because you don't want to blow your cool and do something you'd regret. This little person is entirely dependent on you.

[deleted account]

I agree Cathy..All children are different and as parents we need to observe our kids and figure out a positive way of going about how we deal with them behaviour wise& in all aspects of there upbringing really.So we will never all have the same way of going about that.

Amanda - posted on 06/16/2011

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Parents say just ignore it because with many young children it works. If it doesnt work for your child dont do it. But Id like to remind you Ink, I am sure your mother just ignored your fits, and do you still throw them? Do you avoid problems? Your mother raised you and if you like the way you turned out maybe your mom knows a thing or two about raising children.

Btw I ignore fits with all three of my children, none of them have really thrown a fit after age 2-3.

September - posted on 06/16/2011

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I've never been the type to ignore problems nor do I ignore our son's bad behavior. Addressing our son bad behavior is far more productive than ignoring it. Our son is most responsive when we pull him to the side and talk with him about the issue in a clam loving manor.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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Yup. I think we are on the same page then. Sounds almost exactly like what I do. ;)



My kids actually put themselves in time out now! I love it! Shows it's really working!



Ashley you should join our community that Dana posted, if you're not a member already. :))

[deleted account]

"But be prepared – behaviour that is ignored often gets worse before it gets better. You should consider this when deciding whether to use systematic ignoring as a behaviour tool."

I read this today in an article. I think it's appropriate for here. Jenn is amazing and I'm going to be lazy and say that I agree with everything she said. ♥

Also, for anyone interested we'd LOVE to have you.
http://www.circleofmoms.com/positive-beh...

[deleted account]

True i would not do anything if there in a strop/tantrum.Until there calm.

I have to allow them to clam etc.I agree with that.I would then speak to them once calm.If there at me to have something and i say no.They keep it up.There getting whingey etc i put a stop to it.I tell them we do not act this way.If mom says no, its no.If they have a strop, i will tell them there behaviour is not acceptable/not nice for the younger child, and i will send them to there room, i will then go back up and ask them, why i sent them to there room.They will say what they did.I will ask them what should they have done/acted instead.My oldest i ask this.My 2&half year old is to young to comprehend this part yet.The oldest will tell me what she should of done.Then i feel like she understands and i dealt with it bit by bit from the start.If you get me.I do agree in a tantrum to leave it.I do have to say something straight away.That works with my two.I don't have to do this often.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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Ashley, can you explain more? How do you teach her not to act that way? And how do you teach her it doesn't work that way?

I'm wondering if we're talking about the same thing? See I believe in ignoring the behaviour, not the child. And to me a time out is just that; ignoring the behaviour and addressing the behaviour once the child is calm. I'm just curious if we are talking about the same thing?

Also, when I ignore a tantrum it is not that I'm ignoring the child, it is that I am ignoring the behaviour when it's meant to seek attention. Once the child is calm then we can talk. Besides, I don't know about anyone else's children but I know when my children were in the midst of a tantrum for not having their way, no amount of comforting, conjuling, bargaining was going to help. If I tried to hug my son in the midst of a tantrum, I would be kicked and hit. It was better to teach him to calm himself down first and then address the issue that made him upset. Of course teaching your child to breath and count to 10 can also be useful but some kids in the midst of the tantrum have no ears for adult intervention.



It's teaching them Mommy will help you, but that is not how you ask for mommy's help.

I always repeat back to my son once he is calm enough to be receptive how he should say the request politely. So I'm modelling the tone and manners of how we ask for things nicely and with manners. As in: "Ben if you want mommy's help. You say: 'Mommy, please help." but I wait until he is calm, because otherwise he aint gonna hear it! lol

[deleted account]

If my daughter is doing the attention thing i teach her not to act that way.If she has a strop i teach her it will not work with me.Shes doing great.She knows that i don't give in and i don't put up with certain behavior.She doesn't do the attention seeking anymore.I know my girls and kids are all different.Some do better by ignoring there behaviour(certain stuff) so if you can observe what works and what does not you will be fine.For me ignoring will not work with her.

[deleted account]

You never ignore.You can give your child time to cool off/calm down etc but you never ignore the behaviour.I would say to my oldest i don't accept your behaviour right now but i see you need to cool off etc when your calmer we will speak about your behaviour again.It works.I don't have to do it often and sometimes i handle it straight away when shes not having a strop lol.Never ignore.

Amber - posted on 06/16/2011

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Jennifer just explained how to use ignoring behavior perfectly, IMO.
There are times to ignore, and times not to ignore. They key is to ignore attention seeking behavior (a behavior that they are doing just to get attention/reaction). If you ignore it, it will stop if they are ONLY doing it for attention. It obviously doesn't work if they are hurt, hungry, or have some other need that hasn't been met.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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To me proactive means preventing the behaviour (in the example of biting it would be preventing it from becoming habitual). Reactive is how how you react after the behaviour has already occured.

Proactive tantrum preventing would be; making sure all your child's physical needs are met. Usually the root of tantruming, although certainly not fool proof!

Reactive would be how you react directly to the child's tantrum.

Now whether you choose to ignore depends on why the child is tantruming. If he's tantruming because he's hungry, you can react by feeding him! lol seems pretty obvious.

If he is tantruming or crying because he feel down and is hurt, provide comfort!

If he is tantruming because you told him he can't have a cookie for breakfest, that is when you IGNORE. You can speak to him first. "I told you we don't have cookies for breakfest, you can have a banana or strawberries." If he still tantrums then you can say: "You need to calm yourself down and then we can talk." Then ignore.

If he's tantruming because he's frustrated when he can't preform a task, you can say: "I will help you once you are calm." Then ignore, once he is calm... help him, this way you're not rewarding the tantrum itself.

[deleted account]

My Mom hit this nerve first...a few days ago. She called me a BAD MOM because I didn't ignore my son's tantrum. He's 2...26 months...and he's FULL of tantrums.
Her answer is to walk away. No words, No direction...no different toy...just take the cellphone and leave. Not even timeout. I do consider timeout to be proactive...I have done SOMETHING. The kid is sitting in a boring corner, in an uncomfortable chair..and can't see the fun stuff. I consider that to at least be an action...of some sort. The child seems to show me that HE feels the punishment..he HATES that chair...as he should.
Maybe I am looking too closely at the situation. My Dad was much more of an 'active' parent than my mom was. She was always one of those "wait till your dad gets here" kind of moms. She tends to ignore other issues in her house too...cat pee...home repairs she just leaves hanging off the wall...I have always griped about my mom's attitude about "oh just ignore it."
I'm sure she just struck a nerve...she's very good at that.
She also thinks I am supposed to ignore fingernail biting..and when she said THAT...I just threw my hands in the air. I felt like, gosh mom...should I ignore EVERYTHING? Maybe I should just move out and let the kid raise himself!

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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Oh yes Ink I am a big believer in practicing natural and logical consequences.
If a child breaks a toy, it goes in the garbage.
If the child makes a mess, he cleans it up.
If the child throws a toy, the toy gets a time out.
Ignoring is only important for certain behaviours. Usually in their early stages. Behaviours that seek a reaction. But yeah, ignoring the behaviour doesn't mean you just sit there and let the child knaw on your leg like a steak bone! Maybe that's where the confusion is, when I said ignore. lol

[deleted account]

Sorry-but I know my 6 year old well enough that if he's tantruming over something and he is not going to get his way, yes, I ignore him and walk away!



Ignoring a certain behavior is situational, IMO. Time and place, plus age of the child plays into what you are ignoring.



Edited to add: I don't think it's lazy parenting either by ignoring a tantrum in certain circumstances. It just depends on certian factors.

Jenni - posted on 06/16/2011

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Well first you have to ask yourself, why is my child engaging in the behaviour?
Let's use the biting thread as an example.
Biting usually starts off as reaction to teething. If the parent puts the child down when they bite or walks away from the child they get an undesired effect. If you give attention to it (I'm not saying with ALL children, but with some) if you give a reaction it can encourage them to repeat the behaviour that started out as an experiment or just felt good on those teething gums. They may enjoy the attention or reaction you give.
Now, if it were to elevate past the point of experiment. As in the child enjoyed the desired effects of biting and is continuely biting. You may have to be more reactive. Like if a toddler is biting because they learned it causes other kids to drop their toys so he can play with them. Then I'd take the route of immediate removal from the situation (so he doesn't get the desired effect of receiving the toy) and a time out with an explanation after of the undesirable behaviour and a substitution. "We don't bite our friends, it hurts, we ask for a turn if we want the toy." Have him apologize and then ask for the toy politely.
The time out is essentially ignoring the behaviour so the child doesn't get the desired reaction from it.

Lacye - posted on 06/16/2011

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Think of a temper tantrum the same way you would a person that is bringing you a car they claim is messed up but really isn't. They are only wanting the attention. If you take away the attention, they will eventually stop.

Now for the example you gave, you can try redirection. Give him another toy to play with. If he throws it back at you, ignoring then comes into play.

[deleted account]

Thank You Jennifer, I have read both articles....
http://www.slate.com/id/2214678/pagenum/...
http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/s...
I am still trying to wrap my head around this. Maybe I worry too much, maybe I am too proactive. Maybe my years as a mechanic have altered my logic. I just don't understand how walking away and leaving the child screaming in a tantrum is going to TEACH him anything. In my world, if something's broke, you replace it. You repair it. You clean it...you make it run again. No mechanical problem has ever been fixed by ignoring it. When I get to the kitchen (out of sight) I just don't feel right...I feel like I've failed...or walked away...or let him down somehow. Standing there in the kitchen...I don't feel like I've accomplished anything...the baby is still rolling around in the floor screaming because I wouldn't give him my cellphone.

Katherine - posted on 06/16/2011

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Oh please, that's not going to happen. The only thing I've ignored so far is biting and my daughter hasn't done it since.



Ignoring behavior works only if a temper tantrum or the like.



OTHERWISE IT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN CARE OF. Oops didn't mean to hit caps lock.



I don't ignore if my daughters are fighting, they both get a time out.



Edit to add: ^ you should NOT ignore:



Interrupting

rough play

pretending not to hear

helping self to treat

attitude

exaggerating the truth



http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoo...

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