This Issue









Vol. 1, No. 1 • Spring 1997

Effective Ignoring

Don't use ignoring for behaviors that can be dangerous to the child or to someone else (for example, playing with a light socket, hitting a much younger sibling, using dangerous objects, or very violent temper tantrums). See "Ignoring: An effective way to change some behaviors."

If the behavior is one that is safe to ignore, here's how:

  1. Choose just one behavior to ignore at a time.
  2. Determine if you can ignore it, even if the behavior increases.
  3. Make sure other key family members will also ignore the behavior.
  4. Get specific about the behavior you are concerned about.
  5. Discuss your plan once or twice with the child.
  6. Consistently ignore the target behavior every time it occurs.
  7. Expect an increase in the undesired behavior you are concerned about.
  8. If the undesired behavior does not begin to decrease after a week of consistent ignoring, you might want to consider another type of intervention.
  9. Give positive attention to the child whenever you see appropriate behaviors replacing the undesired behavior.
  10. Hang in there--ignoring is HARD!

1981 Project Enlightenment, Wake County Public School System. 501 S. Boylan Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603. Reprinted with permission.

Copyright 2000 Jordan Institute for Families