When Kids Misbehave

In light of all we learned on Scream-Free parenting this week, the one point that struck me most was the importance of self-reflection: the fact that we are responsible “to” our children and not “for” them. Taking time to pause and look inward at how we feel about what our children are doing shouldn’t be a novel concept, and yet I don’t think many of us can fully embrace the power of these statements.

As I was reviewing some of Catherine Hickem’s blogs (founder of Intentional Moms who spoke at Fellowship last fall on Emotional Intelligence), I found it interesting that there were similar concepts emerging. Take, for instance, the article below. I hope it both helps you and challenges you all at the same time:

“When Kids Misbehave”
by Catherine Hickem

When your children misbehave, what is your first thought? Most moms I know panic and run with the kid in tow because they are embarrassed their child has acted out in public. They are fearful they will be judged as poor moms because their children are being difficult.

However, let me share something with you. When your kids misbehave, you need to remember it is about your child, not about you. Too often parents think their children do something wrong, it is a negative reflection of how they are managing their families.

The truth is that children will test and try their parents because that is what children do. They are going to see if you are big enough to handle them when they are at their worst. Instead of letting it make you run and hide, stay focused on what your child needs for you in the moment. What others think about you is not nearly as important as you being what your children need.

When these frustrating moments come, realize that your child is more frustrated than you are and it is your job to step back and try to recognize the issue that is surfacing in unacceptable ways. These moments are your opportunity to respond instead of react. When you do that, everyone will win, even if that means your child is in time out.

Keep the focus on the child and off of what others think. You will be more peaceful because you will know in your heart you have done the right thing.


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