So when I suggest to parents that they ignore the kind of pesky behaviors, negative behaviors, disruptive behaviors that they don't like in their children, there's this question. Does that mean I approve of that? Does that mean I'm condoning it?
And the answer is absolutely not. But what's important is that we understand the dynamic. Children are trying to connect with their parents. And they'll use any behavior to make that happen. And guess what? Negative, pesky behavior gets a response a whole lot quicker and a whole lot more intense than quiet, respectful, responsible behavior. So the kids are really learning their behavior based on our response to them.
So when I suggest just ignore the behaviors that you don’t' want in your home, what you're going to do is re-focus your attention on those behaviors that you know are in the best interest of your child - cooperation, respect, responsibility, compassion, forgiveness - and the side benefit is that it is going to make life with you that much easier. So it's a win for the child, and it's certainly a win for the parent.
So ignore what you don't want. And feed the kinds of behavior that you want to nurture. So when Jimmy is in the front room teasing his sister, or turning on and off the television, and your propensity is to say, Jimmy, how many times have I told you to leave that television alone? Instead, you're going to get up and you're going to leave the room.
Now Jimmy wants a connection with mom and dad. So what's Jimmy going to do? Follow mom and dad into the kitchen. At which point mom says, hey, I've got some carrots that need peeling. Grab a grater and come on over. And now the connection has been made thoughtfully and intentionally by the parent.