Thursday, March 10, 2011

Why does my child WANT to get in trouble? (Part 2)

The best way to help your child when he is pushing buttons, subconsciously hoping you will set a boundary is to set the boundary in a place that is appropriate to let out his frustration. Once the boundary is set do not hindering him from releasing the hurt. Be positive and let him stay close to you. Simply tell him you understand he is sad he can’t have the “ice cream” right now and it hurts when you don’t get something special all the time. Don’t try to fix the problem or even distract him from the pain. The only way to get all the “hurt” out of the cup is to allow the release until he finishes naturally.

Help your child find healthy and appropriate ways to release hurt. Coloring, chasing the dog, tearing up paper or punching a pillow are a few ideas. You should find something YOU will be comfortable having him do. It should also be something that makes him feel better. When it seems as if your child’s hurt cup is getting full encourage him to engage in that activity and ask him to talk about what is bothering him. He will start to equate the activity with release of hurt and emotion. Soon he will choose to engage in that activity when he feels hurt.

Children have a great desire to model anything they see their parents doing. You may notice their “negative” behaviors are things you yourself do when you are feeling hurt and overwhelmed. Try to show your child how to let go of the hurt by making them a part of YOUR healthy release of pain. Be honest with your child about what hurt you and why you need to release it. “Mommy had a very hard day at work and is running on the treadmill to get the mad out.”

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