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Being Wise Using Tactical Ignoring

Updated on May 17, 2013

Every life has behaviors. Discipline is needed in any level of behavior. Adults think discipline equals punishment. Discipline really means to form or teach, combining positive and negative techniques (styles of doing something). There are many strategies (way of using the technique) toward discipline or modification of different kinds of behaviors. When and how to use them is what makes the difference. Not everyone will correspond with some techniques or strategies, and not everyone knows how to use some techniques or strategies. Instead of being a help it may become a failure or destructive.

The purpose of this hub is to share my experience as a retired Special Education Teacher, mother of three and as a human living around others. We have much to teach and learn, such as values, beliefs and behaviors, and this takes time. In addition, a person will not always be willing to learn the lesson. Adults should learn to relax as they face facts more calmly and effectively.

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification are those techniques, strategies and programs that are geared to the acquisition or increase of adaptive behaviors, such as the extinction or diminution of those that are not.

Adaptive behaviors are those that allow a person to join some social groups, whether it is in any aspect such as: education, social, affective or emotional. These behaviors are regulated according to the implicit and explicit rules that society brand as good or bad.

Behavior modification includes both the structure of the data, as well as its objectives, primarily terminals, and the strategies to be followed for their achievement and contingency management, modeling, grants, restricted stimuli, etc..

The basic techniques used to educate must thoroughly be understood before anyone starts applying them in order to become safe and effective, so the person may gain the good behavior that is necessary for his/her own happiness, as well as those around.


For the realization of a behavior modification program it is necessary to make a diagnosis of the person taking into account two important aspects

  1. The study of human behavior (behavioral assessment)
  2. The application of principles and functional relationships that govern the conduct that is the behavioral intervention itself, such as:
  • Frequency
  • Intensity
  • Duration


The main reason we proceed with behavior modification is because the person that is acting inappropriate is loved; that is the first rule that needs to be understood. An effective way to eliminate specific behaviors that irritate is to simply ignore.

We can apply this technique that seems to not be doing anything at all to change things, but we will see how ignoring certain behaviors systematically, and acting as if they don’t exist achieves amazing results. Some people will do anything to get full and immediate attention of others. They know exactly what may alter or irritate especially in the most delicate moments. If you can ignore the increasingly irritating behavior, the person will cease to act that way because the results weren’t achieved.

Tactical Ignoring is the art of disregarding the behaviors that displease and focusing on positive attention to the ones that please. You should never do one without the other, however, before attempting this strategy, evaluate the behavior and decide whether it can be safely ignored.

Obviously we cannot ignore dangerous behaviors like running on the road or jumping over a fence and intolerable actions should not be ignored like hitting and biting.

Tactical Ignoring is a technique used effectively only by some adults. In others, it merely serves to increase the tension because the ability to ignore is too low. If this is the case, you can try some other solutions offered to address the problem.

  • Decide what can and cannot be ignored.
  • Don’t pay attention to unwanted behavior.
  • Expect that the behavior gets worse before improving.
  • Reinforce desirable behaviors.

Many times, all we need is a bit of understanding as human beings. I bet many "bad" behaviors are easily transformed into an acceptable behavior, with the above mentioned and one or two (or all) of the below strategies.


To praise is to approve, honor, or admire. Children need some adult's attention and will do anything to get it. If the adult does not look at them when they behave in an appropriate way, only when they misbehave, it is certain that the child will end up calling attention with inappropriate behavior.

Philippians 4:8 says: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."


Do not try to reason with a person who rejects 'no' for an answer, if you have already answered several times. This person has learned that perseverance pays off and that if he persists others will yield to the end. Do not get angry: this leads most often to a sense of guilt rather than to success; neither, give in to the request. If ignoring does not fit the character of the adult or if it is not feasible at times, try the broken record technique. This means that we must respond with an adult version of the same conduct. Keep repeating the same answer.


It aims to provide a visual means to trace the person's behavior. Graphing permits to measure behavioral changes. Some suggestions:

  • Let the person decorate their graphic with drawings, stickers, or etc...
  • It can be placed where the person wants: in the kitchen, on the bedroom mirror or hidden in a drawer.
  • Each graph must be part of a reward system for obtaining short or long term goals.


The rewards are for desired behaviors and act as reinforcements to make the person feel good about what has been done and they will desire to do the same more often. Rewards provide motivation.

Humanity One World


In the name of love

In the name of "love", let's try our best to help others achieve a better behavior pattern in order to have peace in the world. Behavior modification is a way to improve our relations and to help others toward the same goal.

This theme is more complex, but we can make it simple if our goal is the increment of love reaching humanity one by one for a better world. Remember to be wise if you want to ignore.

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."
Romans 12:9

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


Tactical Ignoring

© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Eric, thanks! We are not perfect and I know about a little disobedient child in myself. The deal is that we all need patiences with one another, as we all do what has to be done, in order to live emotionally healthy.

    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Bill thanks! It is interesting the way some people need help controlling, changing or eliminating those behaviors that interrupt their own happiness as well as others.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on, I also try to apply these to myself. Yes there is a little disobedient child in me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Help others to change their behavior? What an interesting concept. Great stuff here, Maria. I found it very interesting.

      blessings always


    • Lastheart profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 

      7 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I will after you cut the grass. Thanks Mr. Forggy!

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 

      7 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      What a masterfully written hub! I am so proud of you honey; now will you quit ignoring me??? LOL

      Voted up all the way!!


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