Advent Daily: Practical Strategies for Empowered Parenting
December 16, 2016
Day 16: Focus on Problem-Solving
We have been trained by our own child-rearing that when children misbehave, they need to be disciplined or punished. Children are just mischievous and manipulative, right? Well, maybe they are both of those things, but not in the ways we have come to assume.
When children do things that annoy, distress, anger, frustrate, or just cause trouble, their motive is not to create these emotional responses. The motive is, in fact, to get our attention, but not just for attention. When our children make us feel any of these emotions, we must stop, breathe, and ask "what is s/he trying to ask me for?"
Children who are "misbehaving" are discouraged on some level. They are trying to succeed at something that their brains aren't quite ready for. This is how children learn! So, we must focus on problem-solving. First, resolve the problem of you overreacting and assuming your child is simply trying to make your day horrible. :) This is done simply by understanding what is really going on: your child needs something; cognitively, emotionally, or even physically. If you can help them figure it out, you can, indeed, eliminate the behavior. That is, of course, until the next time.
Keys to problem-solving with/for your child:
---self care and self-control (you need to keep it together. This isn't personal)
--Understand the developmental level and stage your child is currently experiencing. (What can be expected? What are they working on?)
--Communicate often with your parenting partner (it is crucial you are on the same page)
--Don't worry about what other children or parents are doing!
--Seek out parenting classed and resources!
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