I work with a parent who’s 10 year old son can be very negative. I explained how ‘Step six – Vent your feelings and thoughts’ was important for him. After a few weeks she came to me with the shits, she said, “I’m sick of his negative attitude, he is negative about everything, he is getting worse, you’ve basically just given him permission to whinge, complain and be negative all the time! Kath it is NOT working.”
“Okay, leave it with me, I’ll get back to you,” I said.
The next day I had a similar experience with a child I was working with and I said to him, “Stop being so negative, I’ve heard everything you are saying before. I’m going to take over training your Shady (negative voice) while you are with me so from now on so when I say, ‘Stop’ you stop and wait for my next instruction, got it?” To my surprise he pulled himself together and stood there looking at me waiting, just like an eager little puppy dog!
When I told the parent what happened she laughed, “That’s obvious when you think about it, if Shady is like a guard dog in training of course you have to train him!”