Thursday, June 30, 2011

Setting the Intention to Understand

Sneak Peek Friday

I am honored to have worked on the Academy of Coaching Parents International's HeartWise book called Parenting Responsively for Connection. I, along with 10 other ACPI Certified Parent and Family Coaches, wrote the book to help parents answer some difficult parenting issues. Every Friday this summer YOUR Parenting Question Blog will share a short excerpt from this book. We hope that you find them information and helpful. If you like what you read and you would like to order the E-book you may do so here at Strong Roots Family Coaching.

Setting the Intention to Understand

I often hear parents say things like “He always throws a temper tantrum just to get my attention,” or “She’s just trying to manipulate me.” I know that it often feels that way, but I believe that when our children behave in less than desirable ways, there's something deeper going on. The more we understand what the driving force behind the behavior is, the better we will be able to respond to it effectively.

What if I told you that all behavior is an attempt to get needs met—whether consciously or unconsciously. I really don’t believe children get up in the morning and ask themselves, “How can I best antagonize Mom and Dad today?” Although some days it may seem like they do! I believe our children (as well as us adults) behave, speak and act in ways that express our needs in an effort to get those needs met. It’s as simple as that.

So often, we as parents place our focus on the outside--the behavior, rather than on the inside—what’s happening within our child to “cause” the behavior. When we just deal with the behavior in front of us, we are like a doctor who prescribes cough syrup for a cough instead of treating the infection in the lungs, which is causing the cough. Until the root cause is understood and addressed, the symptoms (and behaviors) will likely keep recurring. So how do you find the root of the behavior? By thinking in terms of universal needs

Sherri Boles-Rogers

ACPI Certified Parenting Coach


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