By: Valerie Holcomb, MFTi
Have you ever wondered why your child is acting out? They want attention and as a parent you might feel like these demands never stop (for more info on that, click here). In situations like this, teaching your child limits and making some time to spend with your child can make a difference. Having a family meeting once a week can allow your attention to be on your child. Family meetings, especially in families with young children, can facilitate a space for you to speak openly and briefly with your child(ren), which is often best for addressing behavior problems.
Having a regular family meeting is a good way to help your child learn cooperative skills. You will not only learn to solve problems together, but you and your family will be able to :
• Share positive feelings
• Have fun together
• Make decisions about family issues
• Provide encouragement
• Talk about problems
Family meetings can also benefit each of your family members. For example, you might have a grandparent living in your home and they need to be part of the family meetings too. But remember, although extended family/household members may be present t the meeting, your child needs you to do the parenting. Setting healthy boundaries and making it clear that the discipline and final decisions are up to you allows your child to accept structure, rules and consequences for actions in a healthy setting.
Family meetings work best if the focus is on one issue and one solution. Maintaining consistent family meetings will help your child learn to follow agreements over time. Most importantly, have fun as a family and enjoy working together. Share past highlights, positive experiences or behaviors you have observed and talk about new issues that have arisen. Together you and your child are learning new skills and through your influence, you can make a relationship that your child will learn to respect and love as they grow up.
Written by: Valerie Holcomb, MFTI
Often, your child’s misbehavior is not as intentional as you may think. How parents respond to the behavior can influence how often and in what way children repeat that behavior. How a parent reacts to unintentional misbehavior may determine whether that behavior will be repeated as a way to achieve one of the four goals of misbehavior: attention, power, revenge, and displaying inadequacy. following are some quick but impactful positive solutions for the misbehavior.
Here are some cooperative strategies to help you help your children feel encouraged and empowered by addressing the above misbehaviors:
• If your child’s goal is to seek attention, then try redirecting by involving your child in a useful task that is age-appropriate to gain attention. For instance, say what you will do. For example, have faith in your child to sit with his or her feelings, don’t rescue. Finally, plan regular special time together.
• If your child’s goal is to be the boss or have power then try redirecting to positive power by asking for help. Offer limited choices and don’t fight or give in. You can be firm and kind, and decide what you will do.
• If your child wants to get even or has revenge then acknowledge his or her feelings. Avoid punishment and instead build trust. It’s okay to share your own feelings and try to make amends. The point is to show that you care.
• If your child wants to give up or displays inadequacy then try breaking the task down to smaller steps. Refrain from criticizing and encourage any positive attempt. This is an opportunity for you to have faith in your child’s abilities. This is a chance for you to teach your child by showing how, but don’t do it for him.
Remember if your child is having a hard time, interrupting, throwing tantrums, being rude, or simply not trying, this doesn’t mean you are an unsuccessful parent or that your child is unruly. It means that it’s most likely a time to begin aiming for solutions to solve the problem and modeling the cooperation and respect that your child deserves.
A Shout Out to Bennett Sullivan
from The Coaching Through Chaos Podcast
Here at the Coaching Through Chaos Podcast, we are really thrilled to give a shout out to Bennett Sullivan on his budding success. If you’ve been listening all the way to the end of our episodes, you’ll have heard me say, “I want to thank Bennett Sullivan Music for my theme music”. Bennett took an idea we had for theme music and made it come to life for us. For those that don’t know, Bennett is an up-and-coming professional banjo player. He has been teaching banjo and creating apps for those wanting to learn how to play (banjo & guitar) for several years. The apps are called Listen & Learn and you can find them here. On stage, he’s been playing professionally with bands and in shows since he was a teenager. He recently played banjo on stage with Elle King for her performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Currently, he is a part of the cast of the Steve Martin & Edie Brickell play “Bright Star”.
From the Bright Star website:
“Directed by Tony® winner Walter Bobbie, this wholly original new musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s. When successful literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. Inspired by a real event, BRIGHT STAR is a rare and uplifting story about embracing the truth of who we are, even when it’s not what we envisioned.”
I had an opportunity to see Bright Star when it debut in its initial run here in San Diego. Bright Star opens on Broadway this month. In addition to this, Bennett has started a video series interviewing musicians for his membership site BennettSullivanMusic.com. In addition to the paid membership, Bennett offers so much great free information on the site too! Here’s the first video to give you a taste of what you’ll find. Bennett is interviewing Steve Martin – they even play a bit together! Check out BennettSullivanMusic.com for more information about what he has to offer. Way to go Bennett!! Keep up the great work!!