Child Always Chooses Wrong, Though Knows Right
Traditional parenting responds to a kid’s misbehaviour by imposing an emotional or physical “consequence” in the hopes that the child will choose to avoid that consequence in the future by engaging in other behaviour. However, this implies that the kid can control her emotions and, as a result, her behaviour. In reality, experts are increasingly agreeing that children who engage in “aggressive” behaviour lack the ability to self-regulate.
Children can acquire those talents with the aid of loving guidance, which includes:
Setting limitations on a kid’s behaviour and providing whatever assistance is required for the child to follow those restrictions.
Emotional coaching and maintenance to assist the kid in dealing with difficult emotions so that they do not influence her behaviour in the future.
Rather than penalizing the child, assist him or her in repairing relationships or property damage.
Managing the surroundings in order to aid the childrens achievement.
Is it thus feasible to employ loving counsel rather than punishment (fear conditioning) to prevent bad behaviour from recurring?
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Examples Of Correcting Behaviour In A Child Who Chooses Wrong But Knows Right
Child Doesn’t Listen
If you tell your child to do something and she doesn’t do it, it’s possible she didn’t hear you. It’s quite natural for young people to be entirely involved in what they’re doing and not pay attention to what we’re saying. And I’ve yet to encounter a child who believes that bathing “right now” is more essential than whatever else she’s doing.
As a result, the first guideline is to establish a connection BEFORE you begin speaking. That implies you can’t expect to get through by barking commands from across the room. Instead, close the distance between you and the person you’re talking to. Get down on your childrens level and softly touch her. Make a connection with her by observing what she’s doing and making a comment about it: “Wow, look at that house you made for your animals!” You’re not being manipulative; you’re showing respect for her actions as well. After that, empathize: “Honey, I know it’s difficult to quit playing right now. And I need you to do something right now…..”
Don’t ask the same question twice if you haven’t received an answer the first time. You are not able to hold your childrens attention. Return to the first step. (See How to Get Your Child to LISTEN for additional information.)
I don’t think it’s a huge issue if you don’t listen. That, to me, is just typical childish behaviour, which is best dealt with a sense of humour. But maybe what Kristin meant was obeying rather than listening. What if you tell your child to do something and she chooses to ignore you? That’s what disobedience is all about.
Child Hits Another
If he attacks another child, it’s a clear indicator that he needs help dealing with his fear, as fear is the root of aggressiveness. Is he afraid of something at home, such as his parents fighting? Is he seeing things on TV that frighten him, and he has to play them out at school to express his emotions? Is he afraid because all the other students appear to get the arithmetic, but he just feels stupid? Is he being teased at school or by his older brother? Is he concerned about his deployed father? Is he defying our penalty or is he shouting at home? Is he concerned that you prefer his younger sibling?
We don’t learn any of this if we punish, therefore we can’t address the core reason of the childrens hostility. Of course, we established a clear boundary: it is never acceptable to harm another person’s body. Your child, on the other hand, was already aware of this. As a result, we need to delve deeper and teach him how to handle the emotions that cause him to lash out. Empathy is the first step in providing loving counsel. What made him so angry that he acted in this manner? We pay attention and make eye contact. We acknowledge that we comprehend his point of view.
“When your brother called you names, it sounded like you were angry. Our house rule is no name-calling, and you are correct. You didn’t seem to be able to convince him to stop despite doing everything you could think of, did you? It’s no surprise you were angry.”
Connect to make him feel comfortable enough to share all of his emotions with you and get them out of his system. Once he’s recovered, inquire about his thoughts on how things turned out. Mention how the beating had a natural result of hurting his brother’s physique as well as their relationship. Inquire about what he can do right now to help his sibling.
Consider how he could have handled the issue differently. Teach him techniques like hitting by wrapping his arms around his own torso. Act out several scenarios with him to develop a subconscious template for how he should handle situations in the future.
Then begin regular preventative maintenance to assist your kid in working through the fears that make him feel so threatened that he reacts violently.
Child Destroys Property
It’s reasonable if she damages stuff on purpose while having a “tantrum” (even if she’s a teenager). When we’re in the throes of “fight or flight,” most of us make mistakes that we later regret. (When I was in college, I recall tossing my favourite mug against the wall.) The “treatment” for such outbursts is to repair the emotions that caused them, and everyday preventative maintenance will generally empty out the emotional baggage.
Naturally, she must replace the item, either with her allowance or by performing tasks. That isn’t a “consequence” in the sense of punishment (fear conditioning); it’s just cleaning up her own mess, as when she spills milk. She’ll be open to that proposal once she’s calmed down, as long as she feels connected and understood.
But what if the property destruction is premeditated? That’s a warning sign that something is seriously wrong with her. If you punish her, you won’t discover what it is. Of course, she’ll have to replace the item, but that’s the last thing on your mind. That isn’t going to educate her how to go through the jumbled emotions that caused her to ruin the property. And it won’t make her want to manage her urges since it won’t make her feel connected to you. Punishment will exacerbate her already severe behaviour, causing it to spill over into other aspects of her life. A kid who destroys things is shouting to you that she badly wants your aid.
A kid who destroys things is shouting to you that she badly wants your aid. If all you do is punish her, you’re abdicating your parental obligation to provide her with the assistance she requires.
Have you seen the common thread here? When children misbehave, they must, of course, make amends. Punishment, on the other hand, burys sentiments and exacerbates undesirable behaviour. Healing the feelings that are motivating the misbehaviour is the only way to prevent it from happening again. You’re never going to ignore it. You’re treating the problem at its root.
Kids Choose Right When:
They Feel Connected
They have a motive to choose “right” even if it costs them because they feel linked to you. Because life gets in the way and because huge emotions get in the way, kids become increasingly distant from us. So making a relationship isn’t something you do once and then forget about. Just like you would with a romantic relationship, you must make it a point to reconnect with your child on a regular basis.
They Are In Tune With Their Self-Regulation
They have emotional control, which helps them to regulate their actions. When children make mistakes, it’s usually because they lack self-control. (It’s the same with us.) When was the last time you apologized for anything you said later?) Punishment does not assist children in managing their emotions; rather, it makes it more difficult.
They Simply Want To Do The Right Thing
They are eager to do so. Defiance is when your child simply does not care if he “does properly.” It’s quite natural for a child who is still learning how to be themselves without saying no to everything you ask. Older children, on the other hand, who are close to their parents, do not want to disappoint them. So discipline will not solve defiance; in fact, it will exacerbate it. Connection is the key to overcoming defiance.
When The Choose Wrong
When childrens “select incorrectly,” however, they are informing you that they require assistance. Punishment appears to be a simple solution, but it is simply a way out. If we are serious about helping our children succeed, we must first improve (growth mindset) ourselves.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe To My Parenting NewsletterSign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.
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- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
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- How You May Accidentally Be Raising Ungrateful Children (And how To Fix That)
- What Is Positive Discipline: 6 Simple Techniques To Use At Home
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- 8 Easy Ways To Battle The “I Can’t Do It” Attitude
- Tips For Parenting An Angry Child