The trouble with bringing children into the world is that they do not arrive with user manuals! How much easier would it be if we could troubleshoot in a manual and find the solution that would solve their problems with minimal mess and fuss!
As parents, one of our deep-rooted fears is that our children may behave badly whilst at school, upset their teacher, classmates or, worse, the Principal (whom we have learnt to fear from our own childhood misdemeanours)!
As a mom and teacher, Cindy Glass Co-Founder and Owner of Step Up Education Centres can relate. She offers some advice and a new perspective to parents who are navigating the world of not-so-perfect kids.
She starts out by acknowledging that negative behaviour at school can affect all who associate with the individual who has behaved badly. Parents, in particular, can feel angry, frustrated and even helpless when their child consistently chooses negative, self-harming behaviours.
“It is very easy for a parent to slip into ‘reaction’ mode and punish the child in ways that they may have experienced as a child. It takes great courage, however, to choose to understand these behaviours and find positive, creative solutions,” says Cindy.
She adds, “Consider this: Every choice we make, every action we take is based on how we feel about ourselves as a person! Negative behaviours at school have a solid and powerful root – FEAR. Fear of rejection, fear of not being good enough, fear that the teacher will notice that he is struggling to understand the work, fear of being alone and fear of not being noticed and acknowledged. Think about it! Many children would rather get into trouble for negative behaviours than it be discovered that they are not coping with the pressures of school!”
So what can you do? Cindy says that children need to understand that all actions have consequences. “Positive choices result in positive consequences and the same applies to negative choices. Being consistent in your expectations and consequences is essential.”
“Fair, dependable boundaries are key to establishing a sense of stability within children. It takes courage not to shout, get excessively angry or perhaps even physically harmful toward a child who consistently misbehaves. I STRONGLY recommend that you read the book: ‘Have a new kid by Friday”, by Dr Kevin Leman. I did and it completely changed my approach to dealing with my children!” Cindy exclaims.
Most of all she reminds parents that harmful words and actions destroy children and says that you should try teaching your child to value WHO HE IS and is so doing, overcome his fears. How? “Do this by choosing to value who YOU are!” says Cindy.
There are no easy solutions, but with determination, patience and tons of love, you will be rewarded with more positive behaviours and it will be worth it!
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