Planned ignoring

Tenzin Pema    18 Jan 2021    1406

Ignoring can have a lot of negative connotation out of context. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear “ignore” is “neglect.” But these two words have completely different meanings. The difference between Ignoring and Neglect is intention. You choose to ignore something, but you cannot choose to neglect something. Ignoring something means that you are consciously aware that you are not paying any attention whereas neglect means that you are not aware that you are not paying attention.

There’s a term that we as parents or nannies use called Planned ignoring. For children, attention is the biggest reward they can ask for. Whether is for doing something good or misbehaving, any attention they receive makes them happy. This can seem like a good thing, but if they are getting your attention from misbehaving and you are giving them that attention, it can reinforce the bad behaviors. For example, if a child throws a tantrum and you succumb to their demands every time, the child is going to know that they can do the same thing every time and get what they want. It is pivotal that as caretakers, we show restraint and do what is best for our children.

Planned ignoring involves identifying attention seeking behavior that needs to be changed. One of the nannies I see regularly described her problem with the child she was caring for. Her child was being potty trained and was throwing tantrums frequently. One tactic the child used was that he would pee in his pants if he didn’t get his way. Something like that would be hard to ignore and could get messy if left unchecked. But using Planned ignoring and realizing that if you just didn’t pay attention to that behavior, the child would eventually learn that that wasn’t working which is exactly what happened.

Planned ignoring is usually the most effective for behaviors like crying, whining or complaining. If the child is getting physical, then that would be something you should not ignore. I know it can be tough but its our job as caretakers to make our child realize that whining and crying is not okay to get what they want.

Thank you all so much for reading this and I cant wait to talk about more!!

In the words of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”