Your child’s behavior teaches you the needs of your child. We all have needs. Your child has needs. Your goal in this exercise is to figure out what your child’s needs are and then teach them the appropriate way to meet those needs As you do this you will watch your child’s behavior improve.
Sometimes as parents we expect our children to be perfect. Children make mistakes. That is how they learn. Often times it is from these mistakes we as parents learn the needs of our children. Let me give you a quick example. A dear friend’s six-year- old daughter cut the hair of all the children in the neighborhood one summer afternoon. As you can guess, the parents of these children were not thrilled with the haircuts she gave them. When a mistake like this occurs, a common reaction for a parent is to get angry at the child, demand an apology and punish the child for the bad behavior. When an embarrassing mistake like this occurs, stop yourself and analyze the situation. In the child’s mind she was not doing a bad thing. She was
doing a good thing and satisfying something that interested her. Instead of getting angry, this mom took a different approach. She found a doll at a beauty supply store with long hair her
daughter could cut (meeting the need). She had a conversation with her daughter and discussed why she could not cut her friend’s hair (teaching). They both apologized to the neighbors with a plate of cookies, making it a positive experience. When all of these steps are in place, meeting the need, teaching, positive experience, she never had a problem with hair cutting again.
This method takes more time, creativity and thought, but look at the results. Most of the time when we just get mad at our children, they do not understand, nor do they learn. Anger (fear-based parenting) is quicker and easier, but it does not work. It slowly destroys your child.
When you meet the need of your child, the bad behavior disappears. . Help your child meet her need. You both win. I promise...it works!