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Interview with Deborah Gilboa, M.D. of Get The Behavior You Want...Without Being The Parent You Hate

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Once you leave the precious baby stage, something changes in your child. They develop behavioral complexities that aren't always easy to understand and deal with. To help parents better understand the nature of what do you with your growing children as well as how to talk to them better, we have been reading the incredible new book, Get The Behavior You Want.... Without Being The Parent You Hate! by Deborah Gilboa, M.D.


In this insightful new book, Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka Dr. G, shares her own experiences as a doctor and mom of four children through life style and parenting issues with advice and humor. Targeting parents of children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years, the book outlines real ways for parents to create open and respectful homes without nagging and screaming as she discusses the “3 R’s of Parenting” to teach kids to be respectful, responsible, and resilient. To learn more about her techniques, we chatted with Dr. G who shared even more tips to help your kids with various issues.

Momtrends: Why does it seem that kids always fight?

Deborah Gilboa: Kids are always sharpening their social interactions on their siblings. This teaches some resilience as they can't really escape one another for very long. It can also teach respect if we guide their relationships by how we speak and the rules we choose to enforce.

Momtrends: Does birth order have anything to do with the way kids behave?

Deborah Gilboa: I have some personal beliefs about this, but the research is really mixed. A lot of the traits that we ascribe to birth order have far more complex causes.

Momtrends: How can parents calm tantrums?

Deborah Gilboa: Parents can't calm tantrums. Only the child can decide to let go of a tantrum. We can, however, do a few things that will make that more likely. The most successful reaction to a tantrum is a completely boring reaction. Giving kids the space they need to have an unpleasant (but not dangerous) emotional reaction shows them respect. Letting them have that reaction alone and uninterrupted teaches them to handle their emotions more responsibly.

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Momtrends: What are some of your tips for calming a child down?

Check out this video for more insight on this -

Momtrends: How early on should behavior skills be taught?

Deborah Gilboa: We are teaching our kids behavior skills from the first month of life. Our actions and reactions are their most reliable guide. As they grow into toddlers we start to explain those actions and reactions, and talk about what we admire in their behavior - and what we don't. Those explanations, if short and consistent, will form the resource guide our kids will use when they try to make the world work for them.

Momtrends: Do you believe in rewarding good behavior?

Deborah Gilboa: I believe strongly in noting good behavior. I believe in praising new good behavior or exceptional behavior. I believe in connecting good behavior to good outcomes, like this: You were so helpful during that errand that we got finished quickly. That leaves time to go to the park! I do not believe in breaking out the pompoms and cheer routine for every please or thank you, or for giving gifts or treats when kids behave respectfully. If we reward our kids' good behavior that way, we set up unreasonable expectations about how everyone else will treat them.

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