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Why and why now?
That’s the first thing that you should be asking if you want well-behaved kids. You want to ask yourself why and why now are they displaying this behavior? When you truly understand how kids learn, how they grow and how they develop, these 4 things that you can do now for well-behaved kids will empower you and your child(ren).
Identify the Root Cause of the Behaviour
Behavior is communication, even if that reason isn’t immediately apparent. To get to the root of the problem, you have to be willing to take a moment to ask yourself, why is this happening and why is this happening now. Children don’t lay awake at night thinking of ways to drive their parents up the wall by not being well-behaved. So even if your child can’t tell you what that reason is with their words, know behaviour is communication. Parents are usually more intuitive than they give themselves credit for. So, if you feel the urge to say it can’t possibly be this for X reason – that reason is probably partially at play.
Teach them how to fix the problem
Once you have identified the root of the problem, the second thing you have to do is teach them through it. Once you know what they’re actually trying to accomplish and what has triggered the behaviour, you can coach them through it. You can teach them how to respond in a way to get the preferred outcome.
Don’t stand like a deer in the headlights next time your child misbehaves. Grab the Scripts for Managing Crazy-Making Behaviour and know exactly what to say next time your toddler or preschooler isn’t listening.
Build Underlying Skills for Better Behaviour
Having weak executive functioning skills is stressful at any age, but especially for your child. Having weak executive functioning skills is like asking someone to use a dull saw to cut a piece of wood. It’s going to take a lot of energy and effort but building skills is a lot of work when you don’t know how to build them. It can be downright overwhelming. The stronger the executive functioning skills are the less energy they take to use. This means your child will have more energy to get through the day and you’ll often experience less unacceptable behavior. It’s a pretty simple equation but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy.
Actively Seek Out And Engage With A Support System
As a parent, I know it feels really vulnerable and almost shameful to actively seek out support for your child’s behaviour. As I intellectually understand the benefits of getting support, for a long time I didn’t seek out support with my PTSD. I understand that it’s scary but it’s also the most courageous thing that you can possibly do at that moment when realise that you’re not handling this well on your own. Supporting yourself is supporting your child and once you take that step you’ve already done the hardest part.
That’s always been my objective with Parent Ability – to empower our parents to be experts on their own kids. It’s a place to go when they feel overwhelmed and stuck in their own heads and decidedly not like the expert on their own child. It’s to ensure that they have somewhere safe and trusted and wildly supportive to turn to talk it out.