When my child hits, kicks or doesn’t share they are NOT naughty.
They just lack the impulse control to do any better in that moment. We have to stop the behaviour and redirect without the shame, blame and guilt. We have to teach them what they can do instead. We need to help them practice new skills, you just can’t rush brain development.
We wouldn’t punish them if they fell down learning to walk, would we?
Then why do we punish them if they are still learning to manage their emotions and impulses?
We are so quick to judge their behaviour.
We become stuck in defence mode and not able to teach our children to do better next time.
When we see our kids out to get us, or just naughty or defiant we focus on controlling and changing them and breaking their will and spirit.
It becomes us against them, I’ll show you who’s boss attitude.
We shame them into behaving in the moment, parenting becomes a struggle, full of power struggles and stress.
“Naughty boys don’t get to play.” “Naughty boys get to sit in time out.” These shame our child into changing. It might work short term but how does our child think of himself? What are we teaching them to do next time?
Tell a child they are naughty, it becomes their inner voice.
Thinking of our child as naughty, we don’t stop to think about our role to play in the moment. What our actions and words did to contribute to this situation. Did I escalate or de-escalate this situation?
Most of the time our child’s behaviour is a reaction to our behaviour.
So often it is our thoughts and the ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ that lead us to ineffective responses.
When we really think about what has just happened and we show empathy for our child and see things through their eyes. It is never naughty.
That is not to say we don’t teach our children better skills to manage themselves, we need to teach them a better way to communicate their needs and how to respectfully interact and how to think of others.
When we know children lack skills or brain development, we can start to look at situations in a new light.
It is not naughty!
My child just lacks:
And it is my job to calmly guide and coach him to do better next time.
Empathy, connection and coaching our children is the key to cool, calm and connected parenting.
If you would like to find out more and how I can help support you on your parenting journey please contact me.