When your child is misbehaving and they throw a huge tantrum, not listen, yell, or hit (the list could go on) of course, your instinct is to stop the misbehavior with force, to punish or to yell. I know it’s hard to keep cool in the heat of the moment, I really do.
But misbehaviors are perfectly normal…. However, there is ALWAYS something beneath a child’s behavior that is motivating the child’s negative behavior.
Think of it this way: Your role is not to get your child’s misbehavior to stop, your role is to guide them and teach your children with empathy and connection.
The idea here is to not stop the negative behavior and make their feelings go away but to help your child work through it, manage it, and understand it- with you being there to support them with love and patience.
So, when your child is misbehaving empathize, put their feelings into words, validate, talk through it with them to help them understand it better, and practice expressing big emotions in healthy ways.
But don’t just stop there! During calm moments during the day talk or even play (act out) different situations and how to manage and cope with them in healthy ways.
Your conversation may look something like this:
✅ “It seems like you are feeling frustrated which made you want to hit…I understand that you are mad because your sister took your toy without asking.”
✅ “It’s okay to feel mad and frustrated.”
✅ “I am not willing to allow you to hit your sister. Why don’t you and I go sit over here together and take some deep breaths?’’ Encourage your child to talk about the situation and what they could do next time instead of hitting.
✅ “How do you think your sister feels when you hit her? Yeah…sad, what do you think we could do?’’ You are providing an opportunity for your child to empathize with the other person, and you are encouraging them to apologize without making an apology a demand.
Do you think you could give this a try?
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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