Thanks for tuning back into this series on what we can do to solve our kids misguided beliefs. These misguided beliefs are, according to this research, the reason your child acts out.
A quick reminder on the two things we need to understand to see if this applies to you: First you have to understand your feelings toward the situation. Then you have to see how the kids respond.
So if you’re feeling angry or provoked, or if you can think of a moment/time when you felt angry or provoked, then you’ve met the first criteria. The second criteria is your child’s reaction when you’ve tried to correct this previously. If they are active or passive aggressive about it and it intensifies; or they submit with “defiant compliance” then you’ve met part two.
The only real example I can think of is a rare time when my youngest wants to wrestle, or hit and we as adults don’t want it. And if he keep ratcheting it up, or won’t stop, or finally does stop but goes and hits his stuffed animals instead, then he’s looking for power. Obviously some people get power drunk, and you’ve probably seen them on TV, and it can become a real problem.
So what is this child’s faulty belief? What’s can we do to help?
The faulty belief is this: “I belong only when I am in control or am boss, or when I am proving no one can boss me.”.
Certainly children are normal to test out their power and their ability to be boss. “King of the hill” is a normal game for kids to try. But I never felt like I being king of the hill was worth it. To beat all your friends down just so you can stand at the top – never felt like winning to me.
And most likely I’m just not wired this way, but maybe my parents were perfect – who knows. But what perfect parents do – and just try – no need to be perfect – They withdraw from the conflict. And they help children to see how to use power constructively by appealing for a child’s help. Fighting only gives into the child’s desire for power.
So in my house we use the words, “I don’t want to be treated that way” and we leave. This is the logic side of love and logic – and we’re setting an example. If you can redirect – that classic parenting strategy – even better, you’re re-engaging and teaching a great lesson on handling those emotions.