What could it mean to discover a Scrabble letter “O” lying in my path as I walked in Myrick Park marsh? As someone whose eye is always keen for small treasures, especially in nature, this one really surprised me. It looked so out-of-place lying there alone. Hmmm – is this some kind of clue?
While I haven’t uncovered any real significance to my unusual find (even though we’ve had some fun conjuring up secret meanings it might hold for me), I’m hanging on to my “O”. Who knows when one might need an extra scrabble letter? And it did look like it really needed a home.
With our children’s behavior, however, we are constantly receiving masked clues, not readily recognized. In the busyness of our days, many of these clues pass right over our heads. But if you are dealing with an on-going behavior issue, step back and search for the meaning behind the behavior.
We know misbehavior is always just a symptom – the clue that might lead us to discover the real reason behind a child’s actions.
I talked with a mom a few days ago who was concerned about her young kindergartner who seems so angry since school has begun. From the moment he’s picked up after school, he’s so quick to react in anger. I encouraged her to look further for what’s causing this intensity of emotion. “Is he getting enough sleep?” to which Mom answered” absolutely”.
“Is he eating his lunch?” And I wasn’t surprised when she said “n0, hardly. And not hungry at breakfast either!”
This young fellow, like so many of his classmates, is so anxious to find his place on the playground, that lunch is not a priority. (one reason why it would be so nice to have recess before lunch – in my opinion)
I suggested, as I have in the past to many parents who have experienced this situation, to give him a nutritious snack immediately when he gets home. Have it ready and waiting. Often low blood sugar is the culprit and it can turn many a good-natured child into an out-of-control whirlwind.
Like in any scavenger hunt, we need to pay attention to our child’s behavior by reading the clues, following our intuition, and observing what’s going on. It’s actually kind of fun to think of parenting in this way. It’s empowering to know we can step back and see the big picture. And we can believe that when our child is acting up, there’s always a clue behind it.
If you want some help in looking for the clues in your child’s behavior, give me a call at The Parenting Place, 784-8125 and we can hunt together.