Proactive vs. Reactive

December 28, 2022

Proactive vs. Reactive



Have you recently faced some challenging behavior which caused you to act more reactive than proactive? What was the behavior and what did you try (or could you try) to get back to a more positive, proactive place? 

As parents we all spend some of our time operating from each of the reactive and proactive ends of the parenting spectrum. 


Being proactive is the more positive place to operate from for both ourselves and our children. But sometimes we fall into the trap of becoming more reactive when we are tired, distracted, frustrated or we fall into a pattern of negative interactions. And this is when we most often begin to feel frustrated, powerless or disillusioned at our parenting ability. 


When faced with an upset child, stay neutral and trust that you are helping your child take over his own problem-solving process by slowly building these skills until they become internalized and adopted. Here are positive parenting techniques: 


  1. Empathize: A child needs to know that her parents understand what she’s feeling and stand with her. By empathizing, you open a parent-child dialog that may stem a shut down. 
  1. Get Neutral: Understandably, your first reaction to your child’s bad behavior might be, “Seriously? Again?” Instead, try to read this incoming information neutrally, and remember to listen. 
  1. Narrow: After a child has shared everything on his mind, focus the conversation by asking a question like, “So, tell me what is bothering you the most about this situation.” 
  1. Optimize: Receive the information your child has shared without argument; instead look for ways to work cooperatively on solutions by asking, “What kinds of things can you do about it?” 
  1. Get Moving: Remember your ultimate goal: Help your child become more independent and solve her own problems. 



Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.

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