The kids who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways
One of the first things I tell most parents that I work with is that behavior is a communication, and that understanding the message in a child’s behavior is incredibly helpful for changing those behaviors. To put it another way, something is behind or underneath unwanted behavior; triggering or motivating or strengthening it. Those hidden drivers are usually unmet [...]
Wallow with them!
credit: J. Sibiga Photography I love the word wallow. It's fun to say, plus it reminds me of two totally separate things: self-pity, and pigs in mud. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the phrase used without one of those two things attached! Except, I often use the phrase at work in a way that is [...]
Are you going to let her get away with that?
True personal story: When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old, she got over-stimulated and grabbed an adult relative hard enough to cause pain. We pulled her off, apologized, went into another room and helped her calm down. About 20 minutes later, I apologized for my daughter's behavior again to my relative. Her response surprised me. She said: "Are you going to let her get away with that? Shouldn't you give her a little swat on the butt?"
Taking Children at their Word–part one
Clients of young children often tell me that their kids say things to them like "I hate you" or "You're the worst mom in the world," or even the milder but still related: "I'm not going to do that!" It's these "strong statements" that often leave parents feeling guilty or worried or challenged by seeming defiance.
Keeping the Calm
Parenting is really hard work. Some days are harder than others, and everybody loses their temper sometimes. The parents I work with acknowledge this truth, but also want to grow and change. They want to lose their tempers less frequently, and when they do succumb-they want the overall experience to be yet further muted. So how to stay calm is [...]