Many parents ask this question. One of the main ideas of the approach is to create successes that might not otherwise exist. When we actively create these moments of success, we open the door for our difficult child and begin to challenge the negative portfolio that is filled with failure and disappointment. By lowering the rope, like Shamu’s trainers, we create successes that might not otherwise exist and we begin the change the context through which we interact with our child.
Doesn’t all that praise get old and “wear off” after a while?
On the contrary. When done in a way that is authentic, difficult children begin to experience, sometimes for the first time in their lives, what it feels like to be successful. They have a physiological response to this specific, heartfelt praise. When they feel it in their bones, the awakening happens. For the first time, they get to be the hero of the story- and they find it feels pretty good.