Friday, February 5, 2010

Week 4: Four Mistaken Goal of Behavior

This is a great week full of discovery! Vicki's explanation will be better than anything I have to say. Inn essence it comes down to this. Kids do what they do to get our attention. Kids don't care what kind of attention they get or how they get it. So the act up and act out to get our attention.

Kids want to belong. They want to know where they fit in the family. Here are four ways they do it.
  • Undue Attention
  • Power
  • Revenge
  • Assumed Inadequacy/ Avoidance
The assignment for the week is to observe how I feel when my kids use one of these behaviors.
The question for the week is, "How does understanding my feelings about my child’s behavior, change the way I see situations?"

So I wrote down the list and have been keeping track for how my kids attention seeking behavior makes me feel. I mist say, there are things that I am able to ignore pretty well. It doesn't push my buttons anymore. But I'm aware of that and am still keeping track of when that tactic is being used. So far what I am seeing is this. Both of the girls mostly use undue attention and power. Sweetie Heart uses power more often and will slip into revenge and assumed inadequacy/ avoidance but that has only happened a couple of times this week. Sweet Girl use undue attention the most, power occasionally and usually with her sister. Revenge and avoidance has only been used a few times in her life (she's only 4) and interestingly in the last couple of months.

Being aware of my feelings when they do these things is helping me to see what they are trying to get out of me. It all comes back to attention. One of the things Vicki said that really struck me, like a brick to the forehead, is this, "A misbehaving child is a discouraged child." So my children are discouraged and want to know they have a place in my heart. But the things they do make me push them away and they become more discouraged.

So now I'm wondering, how do you ignore the weed and at the same time encourage them that they have place when they using one of the four mistaken goals of behavior? I'm thinking the answer might be, that we need to encourage them when they are not in that place and ignore the weed when they are.

This is the last week of discovery. I have learned so much about myself. I have broken down so many on my own roadblocks. I have delved deeper into my own issues. I am understanding myself better and am realizing why I behave the way I do. And, hopefully, I'm becoming better. I slip back but I'm doing the best I can to step forward into what really works.

The real work is about to start. Fasten your seat belts!

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