Chapter 5: The Foundation of Positive/Negative Behavior

This is the heart of the book. Taking a look at ATTENTION, through discussion and clinical examples to gain an understanding of how most of child behavior revolves around this one issue. Gaining the understanding that the real goal for children is to interact with their parent or in other words gain attention or be noticed by a parent is in fact the only reward that a child is truly interested in. That attention, to a child, is more important in its intensity and duration than whether it is a positive or negative interaction. A child will accept a negative interaction that results in a “punishment” rather than no interaction at all. This sets up repetitive situations of negative behavior as a parent will not perceive how they are “rewarding” their misbehaving child and explains why “punishment” does not necessarily work.

Parents are shown how to take control of the situation and reshape their child’s behavior by using attention: eye contact, touch and verbalization, as tools to be used in pin point strategic applications. This every effective strategy is expounded on though out the rest of the book.