Have you ever noticed how many red cars there are on the road? I bet you if you look today you’ll feel like you see so many red cars. However, a quick google search will tell you about 10% of cars are red. Also, have you noticed how many people drive the exact same car as you? The same color and make? I’m sure before you began driving that car you didn’t know how many were out there. The frequency illusion or “Baader–Meinhof phenomenon” is a really fancy way to talk about we notice something more when we start paying attention to it. It can be easy to be blind to the red cars in the sea of white, grey, and black cars. However, if we start paying attention to red cars or the car we drive we suddenly can’t stop noticing them even though there are the same number as before.
This is the same with our child’s actions. When we are caught in the sea of having to tell them multiple times, meltdowns, and talking back we can miss the times that they stop to give us a hug before we leave, the times they share that mushy graham cracker, or the way it’s fun to just be around them some times. So, I want to challenge you to LOOK for those red cars or the times your kid acts the way you want to see more of from them. This is a GREAT way to get unstuck from the get frustrated only see problems get more frustrated only more problems cycle it’s so easy to get stuck in.
You can make a list of good moments at the end of the day, you can point out and pay attention to times your child does what you asked the first time (AVOID the but trap here), you can give them a point any time the thing happens and if they get a certain number of points extra 10 minutes before bed time. There are so many ways to highlight these things but I can almost guarente that once you start paying attention to them you will find there are more than you imagined.
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