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Reconnect As Needed

April 24, 2010

The next time you:

  • Become frustrated with you child’s misbehavior.
  • Feel like you have made a simple request and reiterated it 399 times.
  • Yell.
  • End up in a power struggle that takes three times as long as the original issue should have taken.

Avoid the temptation to punish.  Consider the possibility that your child does not need punishment to understand that the behavior was not acceptable and that it shouldn’t be repeated.

Think about what your child is trying to tell you with his actions.

  • Please play with me.
  • I need to feel special to you.
  • I’ve had a hard day and can’t manage my overwhelming emotions anymore.
  • I need an interaction with you- even a negative one- in order to “refuel.”
  • I don’t have the language skills to articulate what I need (most adults don’t either!)

Take a deep breath.  Lower your voice.  And reach out to your child.  Physically and emotionally.  Put aside the dishes, or your laptop, or whatever else you were doing.  And take ten minutes to be 100% present with your child.

Not every single misbehavior needs to be punished.  Connecting with your child may prevent the next melt down.

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