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Behavior is Communication–Video

The Arc of the Tantrum video has been hugely popular, so I’ve made another one.  This one is on a topic I speak about in various ways all the time: Behavior is Communication.  Click below for 2 minutes and 38 seconds’ worth of coaching on understanding your child’s misbehavior.  (and see directly below for a rudimentary transcript.)

Behavior is Communication, notes from the video:

  • Imagine that your child’s misbehavior is a misguided attempt at fulfilling an unmet need.
  • A few examples of typical unmet needs: power, attention, overwhelm, intense engagement.  (Intense engagement: that extra level of attention children need from us, and they can get it from us in positive or negative ways, ie: “OH! I’m SO proud of you!” versus “WHAT are you DOING!?”)  They want the positive intensity, and of course it’s healthier, but they will settle for the negative because kids desperately need doses of that intensity from their parents.
  • We can learn to translate our kids’ misbehavior—translate what you see them doing, and see if you can identify what the unmet need is that drives that behavior—what’s underneath it, behind it, driving that misbehavior.  This frees you up to respond to the need behind the misbehavior, instead of simply reacting to that behavior.
  • When parents can identify the unmet need, we can (a) help them get their needs met better, and (b) minimize the unwanted behavior without having to resort to control or punishment techniques, which makes the parent-child relationship a little easier, smoother, and better.
  • So that’s that: behavior as communication: learn to translate your child’s behaviors, identify potential unmet needs, and respond to those needs instead of the (symptomatic) behavior.

Grief and loss resources on this blog

There are several articles, and one video, on this blog created specifically to help parents whose children are (or may soon be) dealing with grief and loss.  They are collected below for easy reading.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or to set up an appointment for parent coaching around grief and loss, or however you think I can help.

Free video about talking with your children about sex

Head over to Southwest Parents to see a short (4 minutes!) video covering some basic information about talking with your children about sex.  FYI, this video is kindof funny, because I say “use the correct terminology for body parts” without actually saying the correct terminology for body parts.  Silly, I know, but the folks paying the bills really wanted things to be G-rated. (*)   So other than the phrase “talking to kids about sex,” it is safe for work, even!  :^)

If you’d like a refresher on what words I would have used, check out my article called “What are the correct names for private parts, anyway?”

(*) For the record, I think using the correct words for our anatomy is appropriate for all ages.

Shyness and Your Child–Part 3

Do you worry about your child’s shyness?  Do other people label your child shy?  Do you wonder if shyness is a problem?

In part one of this series about shyness, I talked about times/situations where shyness is normal and not a problem at all.  In part two, I listed 5 (big) steps you can take to help your shy child.  But sometimes ya just really want some helpful tips… so that’s what today’s post is all about.

Some tricks for parents that can help with shyness in a pinch:

  • Daily agenda.  Sit down together at breakfast, and talk about the day.  What will you do, who will you see, what will be expected.  This will help your child prepare.
  • Arriving early & intros.  Wherever you go, get there a few minutes early.  Give your child 10 minutes to look around the room, see what/who is there.  Let them acclimate to the space.  If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of being late to an important meeting, you know how your brain takes a few minutes to start firing.  So the flip side of that is to show up early, so that your child gets additional time and space to feel centered, calm, and ready to take on their challenges.
  • Remembering transitions.  Transitions are hard for the vast majority of children.  We expect children to make dozens of transitions a day, from switching between caregivers, activities, toys, etc.  You’ll help your shy kid out by giving extra time, support, love, and warning before transitions.
  • New school: tours & interviews.  When your child starts a new school, visit it a few times in advance  (more visits for younger kids).  See their classroom, meet the teachers, find the bathroom and the lunchroom, the playground, the main office and the nurse’s office.  Meet as many people as possible–each of these experiences will make the BIG event of her first day an easier one.
  • When you talk with your child about shyness, try to use the phrase “You feel shy” as opposed to “You ARE shy.”  It’s a small difference, but it can be empowering to frame shyness as a temporary feeling as opposed to a character trait.
  • Along those lines, it can be very empowering to “reframe.”  If someone labels your child shy, perhaps you can substitute one of these descriptions instead:  reserved, a good listener, focused, peaceful, thoughtful, deep, discerning, calm.

If you’d like to watch a video I made on shyness–with the information here plus more–you can do so here.  My video about how to talk to your kids about sex is available here right now too… and for just another week or so they are both free!