I talked recently with a mom who shared that she was struggling with her 5-year-old son who doesn’t always listen – especially when asked to pitch in to help, get ready to go, wash up, stop doing this or that.
And we acknowledged that this was a work in progress – as are all changes in behavior – for both children and parents.
But something else this parent said really jumped out at me.
When telling her child something she wanted him to do recently, he responded “If I do it, will you give me a compliment?”
Aha! I thought. Maybe that’s the answer – maybe this young boy is actually in need of a bit more acknowledgment, encouragement, appreciation – something to empower him.
Maybe he was feeling discouraged.
He wasn’t asking for a prize, candy, or money – just being noticed.
Perhaps such positive attention could change the “role” he’s chosen to play – could turn his negative reaction into a positive response – by receiving a compliment – by feeling worthwhile, by being recognized.
We all understand that.