Me, “If your child is upset, or difficult to manage, it’s a message to you.” Tip 14
I don’t believe children act out or cry for no reason, unless of course there is a medical explanation, which is still a reason. I don’t believe they do it for attention. I do think they can be confused. They may not know what the issue is. It’s up to us to help identify it or to figure it out.
When a child is misbehaving, parents should look to themselves for the answer. I don’t mean this in an accusatory manner, rather in a responsible way. Our child’s upset is a puzzle for us to figure out. Of course illness, mental health and addictions, those things cannot be “parented” away, in my humble opinion. These issues are best addressed by professionals in the field, so complicated!
In considering the source of negative behaviors, one list of boxes to check can be found in the acronym of “HALT.” Watch out for pitfalls such as hungry, angry, lonely or tired. These can occur with both parent and child. Seemingly small things, but can cause large upset. Independently or collectively these four issues can affect us all.
I learned of this magnificent foursome in my counseling days. It’s is amazing how deficits in these areas can impact behavior, tolerance and outlook.
My therapist told me when I was feeling ‘squirrely’ I should go through this checklist asking, “Am I hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?” It was within reach to address any of those needs, in fairly short order. If Michael was fussy I would check those areas and often it was one or more of those things.
To this day, that little tip provides insight into my own behavior. This checklist can give me an area to address, or something to rule out. I found this tip to be so helpful. Fix yourself and know your triggers.
I think Nicole (Mom #80) said it best, “When one of my children was screaming out of control, I just wanted to scream back to try to get control. I realized very quickly this did not work so I took a different approach. What I did learn, every time I asked them if they needed a hug during this time, every one of them said yes and every time it calmed them down. We could talk out the problem, and I would encourage them to figure out ways to fix it. It was a learning point for us all.” Tip 6
Hug instead of holler.