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Child Training 101 - Don't Reward Negative Behavior

By Michael Pearl


[intro music]

Michael Pearl:  Now, never reward the child's dominance, laziness, whining, self‑pity, bashfulness, lust, weakness, any negative character trait or action. Never award it by allowing them to benefit in some way from that action. Never let them get away with it. You don't have to get angry and spank them. Just figure out a way to make it an unpleasant result by denying them something. For instance, you've got a couple kids and we had a couple of grandkids that fought and they would get together and they would fight. So what mother did, she said, "All right, tell you what, if you go back in your room and play and you play out here, you all can't play together."

They were fighting over something, some object something. So the one that went back into the room to play which was the older or the bullier one, starts playing and it wasn't any fun anymore. "Momma, can I play?" "No, you stay back there for another hour."

After an hour, "Momma can I come out and can she come in my room." "I'm afraid if she came in your room, you'd start a fight with her. I don't think she can come in your room." "I won't fight, I'll be good." "OK, we will see. We'll just see. We'll give you a few minutes and see. You can go in her room and play."

She played well. She didn't fight. She gave over. She shared. Why? Because being denied fellowship with her sister, having to play alone, was such a negative experience that she corralled her selfishness.

To "Hang on, don't play with my toys, don't bother me, leave me alone," she got a hold of that, denied herself and shared and sacrificed. In other words, character was being built in that three‑year‑old child because of the consequences, the boundaries, that mother laid down.

This will work with a teenage boy as well. For instance, I told the story, it's in the video "Train up a Child." The first one we did. Most of this is, and a whole lot more.

Here was a teenage boy, and mother said to him, "Carry the garbage out." He's sitting there at the computer. "Son, I want you to carry the garbage out, it's beginning to stink. Those sardines from last night, you know. Son, did you hear what I said?"

"Yeah, just a minute. Oh I've got to go. I've got that class I've got to go to." "Well, you didn't get the garbage carried out." "Oh, let Tom carry it out. He never gets to carry anything out."

That sort of thing happened over and over again with this teenage boy of 15 years old. Mother gets to be a nagger. She contacted us and says, "What can we do?" I said, "Make him carry the garbage out."

Anyway, I tell you what she did. This is what I told her to do. It worked. She says to him one day, "Carry the garbage out." He says, "OK, OK." Didn't move. She gets one of those little whippy plastic things. About that little, flexible [inaudible 03:46] lines.

She walks up behind him and lands up on his ear. "What are you doing?" "I think I told you to do something, you didn't do it." "Oh! Oh, yeah. Take the garbage out." He goes and gets the garbage, He carries outside. He slams the door He pours it about two thirds out two out of three, got some stuff that sticks on the bottom and all that.

Brings it back in, sets it down on the kitchen floor right in where you get to the door, go back to his computer and sits down. She picks up her little stick and walks up behind him. "Oh! I thought I carried the garbage out." "Yeah but you slam the door when you went out. You didn't clean it out and you didn't place it back under the sink where it belongs."

"All right," he goes out. It took about 10 times.


Michael:  She said, "So, I want you to go outside and get that garbage and bring it back in." "You want what? OK." [laughter]

Michael:  He went out and got the garbage, brought it back in. He said, "There it is. Are you happy?" "I've always been happy." [laughter]

Michael:  "I'm not unhappy. You unhappy?" "All right, all right." "Son, take the garbage out." "I just took it...OK, OK" He takes the garbage it. After 10 times, he finally shut the door, cleaned it out, settled down. "Anything else, mother dear?" She won. From that point, If she said something, he jumped up. Why? Because he lost his respect for her. Who respects a whining woman? Have the courage to have confidence in yourself to smile, to stay in control and to speak and mean it.

When you respect yourself that much, they will start respecting you. Did you know how that boy reacted? He went and tell his buddies, "Hey, I got craziest mom in the world. Look at that ear right there. "


Michael:  He thought it was funny. He did. He saw the humor in the whole thing. So, never reward any negative trait. Make all negative behavior counterproductive.

[outro music]

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3 comments on “Child Training 101 - Don't Reward Negative Behavior”

  1. I love this, we do this now after hearing you talk about that teenage boy. We began doing that with our 3-year-old and 7-year-old. My twins, age 4, bicker and fight. I tell them both to sit in the kitchen while I cook, they sit on the floor next to each other -- no toys, no nothin -- they've gotta stare at each other. I tell them to face each other until they like each other again. After about 10 minutes they are the sweetest little angels, playing, laughing, the fellowship restored. My friends the Harrsions taught me this and it has been working great. My daughter whining for the pink cup to put water in, I give her the plain white cup, she doesn't want the white cup, the pink is prettier and she whines and whines. I say go on to your room out of the kitchen you don't get water then, about 5 minutes later she says yes mamma I want the white cup, white is pretty.

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