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We have been ignoring behavours for 5 weeks now and still he persists!!!

Hi Mark,

I wanted to thank you for the programme that you have set out and the positive results we are having. I am finding that the "make them earn everything" is working very well. In the assignment for session 4 you recommend ignoring bad behaviours etc. Our child has always been one to want attention any way he can get it. I guess he has been getting it for negative reasons in the past. We have been ignoring these behaviours - the annoying, the disrespect, the swearing etc etc. Can you help me understand how long we have to ignore these behaviours before they start to die - the desire for the child to keep doing these behaviours lessons? We have been ignoring behavours for 5 weeks now and still he persists!!! It is like he realises he is not getting the attention he so much wants and so tries even harder to get our attention!! Some days it is very difficult to keep ignoring it!!

Our teenager also loves forming habits, which are not positive. He forms these habits very quickly and they are very hard to break. Last week he decided to start using every swear word he could think of as often as possible. It got to the point where I grounded him for a day with items removed because I could see how quickly these words would have become a habit. It's seems to have worked so far. The swearing has certainly lessened. He has this habit of making movements with his face. I took him to hypnotherapy and it did nothing to break the habit. Do you have any suggestions? We have been completely ignoring it. Apart from that he has only had 3 groundings in 5 weeks and we are noticing that his behaviour has improved in many areas. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.



Hi J.,

Re: Can you help me understand how long we have to ignore these behaviours before they start to die…

As I mentioned in the audio portion of the eBook, “ignoring misbehavior” is an over-rated parenting strategy, but when it comes to siblings bickering back and forth, it is probably the best strategy. I don’t suggest ignoring disrespect or swearing however. These behaviors need a consequence as outlined in the eBook.

Re: He has this habit of making movements with his face. I took him to hypnotherapy and it did nothing to break the habit. Do you have any suggestions?

You are describing motor tics (i.e., quick, uncontrollable movements or vocal outbursts, but not both). About 1 to 2% of the population has chronic motor tic disorder. The condition is more common than Tourette syndrome. However, it is not as common as transient tic disorder. All types of chronic tics are believed to be forms of Tourette syndrome (e.g., excessive blinking, grimaces of the face, quick movements of the arms, legs, or other areas, sounds: grunts, throat clearing, contractions of the abdomen or diaphragm).

People can hold off these symptoms for a short period of time, but they feel a sense of relief when they carry out these movements.

The doctor can usually diagnose a tic during a physical examination. Tests are generally not needed. To be diagnosed with the disorder, one must have had the tics nearly every day for more than a year, and one has not had a tic-free period longer than 3 months

Treatment depends on how bad the tics are and how the condition affects you. Medicines and psychotherapy are used only when the tics have a major impact on daily activities, such as school and job performance.

Drugs used to treat tics include dopamine blockers, such as pimozide and risperidone. However, these drugs are not always successful and can cause side effects.

Children who develop this disorder between ages 6 and 8 do very well. Symptoms may last 4 to 6 years, and then stop without treatment in early adolescence.

When the disorder begins in older children and continues into the 20s, it may become a life-long condition.

There is usually no need to see the health care provider for a tic unless it is severe or disrupts your life.

Bottom line: I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s just your son’s weird way of dealing with stress.


My Out-of-Control Teen

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