Thanks for tuning into part 4 of 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. And you need both for the solution to apply.
So if you’re feeling deeply hurt by your kids actions, maybe even to the point where you feel a tendency to retaliate, 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 seeking further revenge or choosing another weapon to hurt you then you’ve met part two.
I really think this one is meant more for teenagers or tweens who have learned how to hurt and are weaponizing it. Smaller children in my view, just aren’t this Machiavellian. But we’ll go through it in case you have an older child or know someone who may be helped by it – we’d really appreciate you passing it on to them if you could.
So what is this child’s faulty belief? What’s can we do to help?
The faulty belief is this: “I belong only by hurting others as I feel hurt. I cannot be loved.”
And that’s why I think it’s tween-ish. Small children generally feel loved.
What you can do in this situation is to ‘avoid feeling hurt’. Avoid punishment and retaliation. Then work on building trusting relationships and convincing them that they are loved.
This “avoid feeling hurt” advice is crap. Our emotions are our own. I say feel them. But what I say next is to sit on them for a minute. You’ll calm down. You’ll realize that you want to help this child get through whatever, and you’ll probably work on the best solution you can think of. Tell them that you love them no matter what, and walk on out the door.