The Problem Child’s Problem

Think about all the “problem” children you have known. Think back to your time at school even. How many of those children came from connected, loving, non judgemental, consistent and empowering homes? None of the “problem” children I have known had psychologically safe and predictable homes filled with love.

The general pattern that I saw was that difficult children had difficult home lives, unpredictable, judgemental and stressful. I’ve seen it too many times to deny. The children who constantly misbehaved were not getting their core needs met. I’ve come to understand that misbehavior is a broadcasting of frustration and pain. It is a cry for help more than anything.

Emotions dictate behavior. Behavior indicates what is going on inside. Think about it. Adults even do it. For example, have you ever tried to show someone how you feel using body language, tone, or your level of cooperativeness? Have you ever seen an adult stomp or sulk around after a tough moment, looking for attention…looking for help?

Misbehavior and strong emotions are not a threat to your status as a parent. They are clues for you to follow, in order for you to help and guide your child.

1 Comment

  1. Shane Pask
    Permalink

    This is a big statement that I very much agree with. In my 21 years of teaching middle school, I see this trend every year. “Problem students” are the ones who seem to make the greatest turn around when they experience a classroom that is safe, build relationships that are authentic and are really listened to. (In some cases, for the first time) It is a difficult conversation when parents are asked to seek counselling, but it quickly becomes evident that the source of the students’ behavioural issues stem from home life.

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