Friday, May 14, 2010

The Truth About "Misbehavior"

Misbehavior is a reaction that is born from the
unconscious mind in an attempt to vividly express,
"Why don't you see me?" It is an instantaneous
reflex that triggers a need to be understood,
to be seen and to be recognized.

Disconnection is neither a comfortable nor a natural
state of being. Children that are feeling disconnected
from their parents generally display temporary
emotional outbursts. Sometimes an outburst is
also attributed to a surge of negative energy
that has been held onto for a length of time.

When a child can no longer contain his hurts,
his fears, etc, there is a release of energy that
looks like a meltdown, temper tantrum or what
seems to be unreasonably "bad" behavior.

Sometimes we can only see the manifestation of
the frustration or anger. We are not able, in that
moment, to go beyond our own reactions to our
children's "misbehavior".

Basically there are 4 reasons, and combinations
thereof, as to why a child "misbehaves".
I use the term "misbehaves" loosely since
all misbehavior is a manifestation of pain
in some form.

The child seeks connection and does not
know how else to obtain it.

The child holds the belief that, "I must
take from you in order to have". The concept,
"There is enough for both of us", is not clear.
This fear is rooted in feeling of lack.

Deep seated resentment manifests in the form
of, "I will get you back for what you did to me",
and "It's not fair". The child feels deeply disrespected.

A child holds the belief, "I just can't do it", and
"I am not good enough". The feeling of inadequacy
is painful and the outburst temporarily covers up
the pain in an attempt to regain control

When misbehaviour arises, determiine what is going
on underneath and beyond what you see in front of
you. Use the above mentioned explanations as a guide
to assist you.

Encouraging your child to express feelings is paramount.
In this way you can uncover together what the root of
the problem is.

When conscious discipline is necessary, be mindful
of your tone of voice. Your position remains firm
and natural consequences can be carried out with
a tone of calm certainty in your voice.

There is love behind your words. Your child can
hear and feel that. He may not like the natural
consequence that follows his choice of behavior
but something else is taking place at a deeper
level. He feels the love behind the words even
if he is not fully aware of it.

As you consciously intend to guide your child
to appropriate action, you do so within a space
of compassion and authentic understanding.
This naturally strengthens your connection to
your child.

You are acknowledging his "being".
You are saying to him, through your
conscious awareness, "I see you; I feel you."

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