Thrives and begging and promises to Disney world, you can do anything and it will all work for a short period of time and fall apart very predictably because this is the most important part of your kid’s life. Either you because where your attention goes it’s like a cue to their brain, to their brain that this is what you care about this is what you want more of so if I start, if I’ve been watering weeds talking to John, don’t you talk to me that way, stop whining, what whining that whining what whining that whining you know.
if I feed the whining asking the whining to stop, if I argue with John, when he’s disrespectful, if I keep giving energy to the weeds and then I say okay you come to the seminar you hear me speak you say okay I’m going to start ignoring those weeds, ignore those weeds please so you start ignoring those weeds. Do you think the weeds are going to be happy? They’re good are there’s going to be happy weeds over there you’ve been feeding them all that attention are they just going to go. Okay, you got me. No, it doesn’t look like that at all.
In fact, when you pull away from weeds, if you’ve been feeding weeds, they get uglier than they’ve been, you get more whining. If you walk away from tantrums, you get more tantrums. if they’re helpless, they become more helpless. If they’re disrespectful, they become more disrespectful for a while because you know they kind of like it that way, that’s what they’re used to.
Watering the weeds watering the weeds watering weeds that’s what their brain’s accustomed to. So, when you first walk away and you start starving weeds, you’ve got to expect drama over here around this. But meanwhile, you keep looking for moments of seeds moments of seeds, when the kids are getting along rather than when they’re not getting them all, just think about how this work, works with siblings you know, you’ve come home you had a tough day, got a little bit of a headache, you say to the kids you know sweetheart you know give me you guys give me a few few minutes here I just want to get ready for dinner try to get along okay and so I go in and I’m fixing dinner and and I’m kind of half with it but tired and exhausted and meanwhile there’s quiet and there’s calmness and there’s cooperation and now I start to hear a rumble I right a breath and go oh I knew it they just couldn’t give me that 15 minutes.
So, I walk in and say could couldn’t you just give me 15 minutes all I asked for was 15 minutes. Now, you separate yourselves and start playing calmly and then I come back in and so things are calm and I’m finishing up and then I stare another rumble, so here I go back over and I say guys didn’t I tell you. See how it works the weeds suck us in they really do they’re like you know, it’s like a vacuum cleaner just pulls us into the weeds.
Meanwhile, what am I doing I’m ignoring seeds right they were getting along I got seven minutes and 12 seconds and I didn’t notice a moment of it right. So, if I want to shift the feel of things at home, a fundamental to any any long-term behavior change any long-term behavior change a fundamental is going to be that at the end of the day or into the week more. My attention has to go into the moments I value rather than ones I don’t value which means that if I’m in here cooking dinner and the kids are getting along, I stop for a moment, I walk in and I smile and I turn around and walk out and I pick up again a few minutes later they’re still getting along. So, I walk in, I touch them on the head ask them what they’re doing and I walk out.
If I want to change things, I’ve got to intentionally invest energy and attention in the behavior that I value and I have to do it obsessively for at least a month to two months obsessively for a month to two months. Did I say obsessively for a month to two months? Because it’s so you know it’s just so amazing because I I’ll emphasize and re-emphasize and re-emphasize this and this is the toughest piece to really get last month. The month between September and October, I had three families come back to me who I’d worked with a year to two years ago. All of them had some very difficult and challenging kids and they were coming back because things had deteriorated.
So, they come in the first time, they say oh you know big trouble here big trouble there and so the first thing that I know is that they got sucked into weeds I just know it that this is going to be the biggest problem. So, we talk a little bit about the weeds, the seeds thing remind them oh no no we’re good at that you know. I make sure to pay attention when they’re doing well I said I said okay so do me a favor just video set up a video camera in your main area of the house put a little piece of tape over that little red light right and and just have it run all week and then bring it back next week and well do you want us to go through I said no just bring back the tapes.
So, all three families I had to do this different times and they bring in their videotapes and I put it in just randomly fast forward and pick 10 minutes to watch and if I had it you wouldn’t believe it because these are folks that have had coaching they’ve heard this whole spiel in great detail right and they’ve had a success by turning it around and so here they are I turned on 10 minutes of it and every single one of them these three families within 10 minutes all of them I counted over 30 times that they fed weeds in 10 minutes and they didn’t know it. Daughter says I I don’t know how to do this. That’s what it said I don’t know how to do this.
Now, in my book that’s a weed, that’s not a request for help, that’s a weed so dad goes sweetheart you can do it. No, I can’t, I know you can, No, I can’t. Well, let me show you, so he’s intensely showing the weed and so he’s over there at the table and this is all on the video camera right video cam I’m watching the whole thing so he’s showing her. Meanwhile, she’s stomping her feet like this and he’s going oh sweetheart calm down you can do this, I know you can do this weed weed weed weed right. So you know I show it to them and I’m kind of chuckling as I watch this and and they’re kind of going I don’t see it because see so often they begin to you begin to lose track you forget about those moments and so I would say to you, you better become remarkably aware of your behavior remarkably aware and when you when you can make the shift where you spend most of your energy on what you value and what you want and pull away from what you don’t want, you’ll see that that has an amazing effect on two things.
It affects their behavior in dramatic ways because after the drama unfolds for say three days to a week something like that if you keep walking away walking away walking away walking away walking away this is not an example of ignoring the weed well see it’s a weed do you hear her question her question you know, they say I don’t care that’s a weed so if it’s a weed what do I do because I could say if I say to the weed I say I do care what did I just do said do we so you want to be really clear is it true that you don’t care is it true that you don’t care. No, so see it’s a lie so if you throw your energy into lies right if you throw your energy into lies what are you going to get you hit more lies you’ll see that that’s going to be true over and over and over again.
So, just check it you just kind of go you know, to me everything that’s a lie is a weed, I’m stupid how many times some of you would fall into this category I’m sure that your son or daughter says I’m so stupid you go oh no you’re not you’re so smart you can do this no I’m stupid no you’re not I see the weird part is if any of you been down that path you you can see how this is true because do you ever talk them out of their belief in their stupidity you do yes you can you can talk them out of it I don’t find that I find it very hard to talk them out of the belief that what has to happen is they have to learn that you will walk away from the lie then they can walk away from the by it’s really the way it is you have to be able to model that I can walk away from a story that’s not true in order for them to walk away from the story that’s not true because if if you can’t model it for them they’ll never get that, so everything that’s a weed.
I’ve got to be really clear that I don’t say to the weed I’m going to ignore you if you say that I’m not going to talk to you when you talk to me that way because why I just that’s right it’s a weave so I feed the weed as I’m telling the weed I’m not going to feed it so get this is not rocket science stuff be simple about it simple simple simple simple is start weeds feed seeds obsess upon it for the next 30 days and if you can make it 60 days and then you’ll see that you can just fade away because the shift happens remember I said two things are going to happen.
One, is their behavior is going to improve dramatically and the second thing which is so wonderful is your relationship with your kids improve if you have a situation with you know perhaps for some of you you have one child or two kids that you have a great relationship and you have this more difficult child that you don’t feel so good about it you’ll see that when you do this that really shifts the relationship changes so it’s a cool thing so those are really the seven mistakes I’m going to answer a few. I mean some of you are holding up your hands, I’m going to answer some questions but I just want to do a wrap up because I know some of you are on the you know 8:30 is our time so I’ll stay after and answer some questions but I just remind you of a couple things attached to the outline should be like a my little four week intensive do these things and life will change and so the essence of that parenting plan is really very simple it’s that first of all you’re impeccable in your behavior impeccable meaning I don’t lose my cool regardless there is nothing that will serve you like that as a jump start for things.
So, first I’m going to be impeccable I’m not going to lose control. Secondly, I’m going to make sure that I obsess upon these seeds and walk away from weeds third I’m going to set clear limits and if possible I’m going to write those down I’m going to write down what the limits are and I want to say kids here’s the deal here’s the line and when you step over he line here are the consequences predetermine the consequences and you’re going to see life is so much easier if you have to mentally negotiate oh what’s the right consequence for that then you’re going to find you’re constantly those that line is moving all the time and kids don’t have a clear idea about this so those are the those are the primary fundamentals that you’ll see on that sheet of paper just make sure that you’re clear start weeds feed seeds make sure that you model what you want be impeccable don’t yell scream lose your cool set clear limits make sure you teach the limits with consequences and don’t try to use your words to teach these critical lessons because words won’t get it.