It’s abuzz …the B-word is haunting many of us…BULLYING is indeed alive and kicking.
What do you do? Whether you are worried about behavioral issues or your child’s choice of friends or activities, there is a disguised message there that can guide you. Your child might just not have the know-how to say it in words. I truly believe that when your child shows challenging behavior, such as bullying, you need to ask yourself ‘what is my child trying to tell me?’ With some intuition and thought, you can get to the root of the challenging behavior and support him/her in resolving it.
At It Starts With ME® Global we teach and guide participants, young and old, how to change negative patterns to positive patterns. One of our tools to teach effective communication is the ‘I see, I think, I feel, I UNDERSTAND, I do-tool’ which replace an old pattern of ‘I see, I think, I feel, I do, I regret’.
Scroll down to this week’s parenting/leadership toolkit to read our guidelines to better understanding disguised messages in our children’s behavior. Change is never easy but reality is…it starts with ME. These are hands-on tips for primary and secondary caregivers, which we invite you to share with your family, colleagues and community members. If you want to receive my free electronic monthly toolkit directly please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to our database.
Change is in my hands, but thinking about it is not going to make anything happen. At It Starts With ME® we share our ethos of ‘I can’t just think it, I need to ink it, share it so that I can action it’. We encourage our proud2believers to make this part of your positive lifestyle.
It’s great to have insight into your child’s behavior—but what do you do with it? First of all, trust your intuition. What insights did you have while reading this toolkit? Secondly, trust your child. Children want their lives to be as happy and easy as their parents do. When they are given support to live in alignment with their true nature, their best self tends to come forward. More than anything, your child wants to be loved and disciplined by you and understood for who they are. Keep maintaining a heart-felt connection, even when your child is living beneath their potential. It matters and it will make a difference. So here is my handful of tips to better understand FIVE disguised messages in our children’s behavior:
- Disguised message #1:“You don’t know who I am.” One of the best ways to help parents to identify why children do what they do, is to support them in learning their child’s Energy Type. Learning your child’s Energy Type helps you clearly find your child’s priorities, strengths and challenges in a clearer light. Discovering your child’s true nature is super helpful.
• The Fun-loving Type 1 Child: Bright and bouncy, these children can express troubling behavior when they feel stifled, isolated, or shamed for being too much energy. • The Sensitive Type 2 Child: Tender and quieter, these children can express troubling behavior when they’re resisting feeling unheard and invisible. • The Determined Type 3 Child: Active and persistent, these children tend to act out when they’re reacting against feeling stopped, overly confined, or shamed for their big energy. • The More Serious Type 4 Child: Analytical and focused, these children can express troubling behavior when they don’t feel respected to be their own authority.
- Disguised message 2: “I don’t know how to say what’s wrong or what I need.” Children don’t always have the life experience or vocabulary to explain when things don’t feel right. So if they feel shut down at school, rejected by peers, or pressured by you, they may just act it out. Rather than judging your child’s behavior, observe with them and ask questions. For example, to a child who has chosen some troubling friends, you could say: “This is my perception and maybe it’s incorrect, but what I notice is this person has these tendencies and these values and I’m concerned. My concern as your parent is that you’re going to be influenced in a way that isn’t healthy for you. How do you feel about that? What do you think about that?” The best thing you can do once you’ve observed and asked is to be quiet and LISTEN. Your child may tell you exactly what you need to do next.
- Disguised message 3: “I feel judged or shamed.” If children feel judged or shamed for who they are at their core, they may express themselves in an extreme manner that can look like misbehavior. What they’re really doing is trying to get their needs met and relieve pain. If your child has made decisions you don’t agree with, get really clear on how much you love your child regardless of the behavior. Don’t estrange yourself by becoming too preachy or judgmental. Build trust. Continue to love them. They will turn back to you—but if they’ve felt your judgment, it will take longer.
- Disguised message 4: “I feel like I don’t have a say.” If your child is resisting rules, they may not actually have a problem with the rules. They may be resisting the feeling of not having a say in their life, as they get older. As your children age, involve them more in the conversation about rules. When they need boundaries, don’t just ban certain activities, events, or friends. Just taking away choices doesn’t offer growth, learning, healing, or understanding—only control and resistance. Instead, create trust and bonding in your parent-child or teacher-child relationship by allowing your child a say in what happens to them.
- Disguised message 5: “I’m reflecting something back to you.” Before you can expect your child to make some change, you need to consider your part. Ask yourself: ‘How am I contributing to this situation? What energetic patterns am I adding to this experience? Is my child reflecting some story from my own childhood that I never accounted for or healed? It can still be energetically running in your child’s subconscious and the pattern is playing out again. Taking care of your own healing also heals your child. It also helps you more easily and allows your children to be who they are without per-conditions or interference from you.