Being a parent of five children, I’m constantly struggling with child behavior problems, and how to deal with them. It just goes with the territory. But last week, it came to a head, and I came to a few realizations that I don’t think I had before. Here’s what happened:
My oldest son has a new “friend” that’s a girl (we don’t want them to be boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but it looks like they’re moving down that road pretty fast. More on our feelings about that in another post). Anyway, Sarah came over after school to watch a movie with Bobby. That’s it – pretty benign, right? Well, not as far as my kid’s are concerned!
You’d think the sky was falling, or we were going to Disneyland or something. They all just became out-of-control kids: loud, no manners, saying inappropriate things, and on and on. This type of child behavior problems went on all night – long after Sarah had gone home for the evening. It was crazy! I was totally embarrassed, enough so that I canceled a fun family weekend we had planned.
What I came to realize is that my kids need to have a pretty structured schedule. They feel very out-of-control when anything is out of the ordinary at all. I believe this goes back to the very first months of their lives, when they weren’t cared for in a healthy way. So we are trying to keep it orderly and under control – therefore avoiding this type of children behavior issues.
I just happened to be browsing the Empowering Parents website, and I found an article by James Lehman called Are You Embarrassed By Your Child’s Behavior? 5 Ways To Cope that helped me out concerning my embarrassment. It gave me a few tips, and I’ll share a little bit from the article.
- Don’t guess what people around you are thinking. Unless they say flat out “You’re a horrible parent”, you don’t really know what they’re thinking. They could be thinking “I remember when my kid did that”, or “I’m glad I’m not going through that phase with my son anymore”. Don’t be a mind reader.
- Focus on the behavior at hand: It’s not about you, it’s about the child. When your child misbehaves in public, they need something from you – focus on their needs, not your feelings.
- Use “avoid” and “escape” as short-term strategies. If you know the type of situations that cause your kids behavior problems, try to avoid those situations. Also, give you and your child an “escape” plan – a way to get out of the situation if things start to break down.
These are just a few strategies I learned from this article. To read the whole article, click here.
For many more tips and techniques to deal with child behavior problem’s, check out The Total Transformation. It’s one of the best child behavior programs I’ve ever seen – it worked for our family, I’m sure it can work for yours!