Monday, December 31, 2012


Have you ever looked at someone else's family and thought, "How on earth do they get their kids to be so well behaved all the time?" As you know it doesn't just happen.  There is no 'Genie in a bottle'.  It is hard work.

It has a little bit to do with the child's temperament they were born with. Some parents are lucky in that way, but even those angel-faced kids have moments of pushing boundaries and causing your blood pressure to rise to boiling point. But what do you do if you have a child or children born with a strong will and feisty behavior?  One, that from the moment they were born they were a handful. These children have been affectionately termed as "high needs" and given a bad rap from day one.

It is important to remember that the goal of your children is not to make you miserable. They are often just acting out of pain, frustration, boredom, and/or anger. Children haven't learned to be conniving and vindictive yet. They are simply acting from instinct. Our human instinct is to survive and be loved. That goal, in and of itself, leans towards selfishness. We know what we want and we want it now! When someone tells us we can't have it, it makes us desire it more. We are very persistent beings until we are distracted by something more appealing or coerced to believe we don't really want or need the thing we hunger for. 

So, with that said, parents who have angel kids at the restaurant that just sit there and eat their dinner without drawing negative attention are very blessed. Those children are a product of both nature and nurture. They have been taught the right way to behave in public. I'm sure there were many times they misbehaved on the way to being the angel face you see today.

Consistent parenting is the key. Here's what you can do:

* Decide on the values you want for your family e.g. honesty, loyalty, obedience, forgiveness,
   integrity, trust
* From those values, explain your expectations to your children.  What will these values 
   look like in your home?
* Train your children and allow them to make mistakes
* Praise them for getting things right. It is far better than constantly being negative
* Give them responsibility around the home
* Set consequences - the more severe should be reserved for those values you feel most  
   strongly about
* Be consistent - both parents must stand together. Don't over-react to the little things

Your children want to please you, so it is vital to give them lots of quality time, praise, love, and intellectual and physical stimulation. If they are a small child and have little attention, they tend to get bored and act out. When they are a teen and have too much time on their hands, it is easy for them to drift along with peers that are similarly bored or angry and get into trouble. As children's needs are met, you will find less protest or rebellion from them. (Of course, I'm not talking about kids that may have a behavioral disorder. They have an entirely different set of issues that cannot be dealt with in the same way).

This is a topic that cannot be fully addressed or answered in a small blog post. There are so many different dynamics that come into play including divorce, loss, abuse, spoiling, medical conditions of family members, city or country of residence, community support and so on. If you have a contribution or question concerning this topic please feel free to comment below on this blog or go to our Forum and pose a question.

Here is an interesting article from the United Kingdom:

We believe successful families are

1. Parent directed

2. Family oriented

3 Outwardly focused

By Kristee Mays and Sally Burgess

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