Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unmet Needs

When your child is acting up, wonder about his or her unmet needs.

Four-year-old Jaden had to pick up his toys in the family room before he could go sledding with his older sisters. Usually he finished his Saturday work in plenty of time for play, but today he wasn't a happy helper. He threw herself on the floor and kicked and screamed. He was NOT going to do his job. His mother told Jaden she would help. Jaden still cried. Dad put him  on time out until he could be happy. He shrieked louder than ever.
"Makes me feel like I want to give him a reason to cry," Mom said to Dad.
If an incident like this occurs, look for the unmet need in the child's life. When both parents took a minute to think, they remembered that Jaden had been up late the night before at the movies with his older sisters. Rather than sleeping in on Saturday morning, he had gotten up early. 
After his temper tantrum, Jaden slept for an hour and was ready to get his work done and then play.
Jaden needed some sleep.

Peter, age six, loved to wrestle with his older brother, Sam, age twelve. Peter came home from school one day and wanted to tussle, but Sam was busy with a book report he had to turn in the next day so he politely asked Peter to stop. But Peter wanted to wrestle so he kept on punching and poking his brother. Finally Sam got up and moved to his bedroom to finish his report. He shut the door. Peter pounded to get in.
The banging got so loud, Mother came and gently took Peter by the arms and told his to stop. He needed to listen to his brother's words. Mother asked him to put on his swim suit and help her clean off the patio.
Peter couldn't tell himself to quit so someone had to help him. He needed some attention and some large muscle activity. He'd been sitting still in school all day. Mother's idea met both his needs.

Whatever your child's behavior, look beyond the happenings of the moment and find the unmet need that is driving the child's conduct.

Wisdom begins in wonder. Socrates

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Self Esteem Insurance

Managing Stress Part 1

Self Esteem Insurance

I just read an article posted in the New York Times, "Stories That Bind Us," March 15, 2013, by Bruce Feiler.  A study done at Emory University found that the more knowledge children had about their family and its history, the better they felt about themselves, the more they saw their families as successful, and greater control they felt they had over their lives.

My great great grandfather left a wealthy dairy farm in Denmark in the 1800s to move to the western United States. He brought his wife and daughter, Johanna Larsen. Johanna kept a journal of crossing the plains. I remember hearing the stories about her recovering from the measles, walking all the way behind the covered wagon, and picking up buffalo chips to make a fire to cook their food at night.

And somehow, I knew that though I had hard things to do, I would be okay.

As a child I had a terrible case of the measles, but I knew my great grandmother had recovered from that illness and so would I. My father died when I was in first grade, and I had to move to another city and a new school. I was scared, but my great grandmother had moved to a new country and made it, so I would be okay.

It was as if she set up a legacy for those who would follow after her. Her life wasn't easy, but she solved her problems and lived a good life. I knew I came from a family of strong women, and I would be a strong woman. 

What have I learned as I study this research and look back on my family? I can see how knowledge of my family gave me strength. I want to make sure my children and grandchildren know the stories. It's self esteem insurance, and I hope to give them the best chance in life that I can.
Here's the link to the article. Read it and give your kids self esteem insurance. It's a priceless possession!