Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | March 12, 2013

The IDEAL Response

For those of you who will be attending the Empowered to Connect Conference on April 19-20, you will soon be familiar with Dr. Purvis’ IDEAL Response. So let me give you a little preview!

 Dr. Purvis, when discussing dealing with negative behaviors, states that a parent’s response should be IDEAL (Immediate, Direct, Efficient, Action-based, and Leveled). Here is a breakdown of the response style:

Immediate: The response by the parent should take place as quickly as possible after the negative behavior. Dr. Purvis states that it should be initiated within three seconds.

 Direct: Proximity and eye contact are important components of a successful response. Remember, you are not talking AT the child, but TO the child. Communication is important.

 Efficient: Your response should be measured… not one of explosion. I am sure you have most likely been at the point where you have stepped on a LEGO, and you just want to scream! But keep in mind the idea is not to control, but to teach.

 Action-Based: It is important to give the child an opportunity for a re-do of the negative behavior. An aspect of the function of the human brain is that motor memory is much stronger than our cognitive memory. If we have done something, and been told something, we are more likely to remember what we did rather than what we were told.

 Leveled: Level the response at the behavior, not at the child. Dr. Purvis states to not lose sight of your child’s preciousness during your response. Your anger and disappointment is with the action/behavior, not at the character of your child.

 Remember that the key to your response is resolution, not control and domination. In our response, we should be teaching our children communication, reasoning, and healthy conflict resolution.  Dr. Purvis gives the example of a warden vs. a coach. The warden’s goal is to control those he is responsible for. His desire is to govern and establish positive behavior through rules, expectations, and punishment. There is not a relationship built between the warden and his inmates. On the other hand, a coach’s goal is to come alongside those he is responsible for. He desires to build a relationship, teach through assisting, communication, and share in failures and accomplishments.

 How grateful we should be that we have a Heavenly Father that desires to build relationship with us and guide and lovingly correct us when we have done wrong. I pray that we (I am definitely including myself in this prayer) are able to be the earthly parents that love as our Heavenly Father loves us.




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