What is a "negative script"?

Therapist & Author Robert Brooks, PhD, explains what a "negative script" is, and how understanding it can help empower us to make positive change as parents
What Is A "Negative Script" and How Does It Affect Parenting
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What is a "negative script"?

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It's been so interesting to me how we can be very intelligent, but even very intelligent people can say and do things over and over again, even if it doesn't lead to better results, and I see that in parenting all the time. I remember one set of family came in and what happened was, the parents talked about how they had been asking their daughter, who was 17, for 14 years to clean her room and it didn't work. I said, "Well why have you asked her for 14 years to clean her room if it doesn't work?" I loved that the mother said, "I didn't know what else to say." Some parents think all of a sudden the child is going to come home and say, "I've seen the light, I will now clean my room," but the reality is, so many of us expect other people to change first, so what we do is we keep the same behaviors going and going and going, but the other people don't change. So a "negative script" is when you keep the same behaviors, and it doesn't lead to good results. I always say to people the following, and I mean it more in terms of not blaming people, but responsibility. If you've been doing something that isn't working, the first person who has to change is you. We are the authors of our own lives, and other people are not going to change unless we start to make changes. Again, this is not to blame ourselves, but rather to empower ourselves.

Therapist & Author Robert Brooks, PhD, explains what a "negative script" is, and how understanding it can help empower us to make positive change as parents

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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