Is one child in your family really pushing your buttons? Is he/she the one that makes you become a “screaming meamie”?
Then this is the child for you to take a week, even better, two weeks, to focus on. By that I mean intentionally and quietly watching, observing, seeing the expression on his face when he’s involved, noticing the way she tries to get heard or be included or be noticed, even if inappropriate.
After days of really seeing your most challenging child from the inside out, your understanding of why she’s doing the things she does might begin to make more sense.
Look for the emotion behind the expression on this particular child. What might that tell you? Remember the patterns of the behavior. When did it happen most? Was your child in need of sleep, hungry, needing attention, feeling left out, rushed, being teased, trying to keep up and fit in, embarrassed, vulnerable?
This is not ammunition for future tirades that you are gathering. This is an emotional data collection to figure out for yourself what it is that makes this particular child so personally challenging.
Don’t rely on memory. Pick a spot out of reach of little hands that you can easily put a sticky note with a word or two to remind you about what you noticed.
I think it might be eye-opening. It may show exactly what this child needs. It may even reveal his/her challenge has also always been your own and might put your strong reaction to the behavior more into context.
Is this really going to change anything?
What I believe it will do is open your eyes and your heart to whys and ways you can recognize, appreciate, and build a more positive understanding, and find solutions that will bail both of you out from this ongoing negative behavior cycle.
Disconnected to connected. Perhaps all due to focus.
If you need some help in figuring out what to do with the “emotional data” you collected and how to proceed, give me a call at The Parenting Place, 608-784-8125 to come in for a one-on 0ne discussion, or we can chat about it on a warmline. Together we can bring things into focus.