What do I do with my son so that he behaves well?

To begin, it is important to note that there are no “guidelines”, “tools” or a “magic key” that solves the problems that children can present, so answering the questions “what do I do when…” is difficult, and even it can become counterproductive for the particularities of each child, because there is no right way to act.

Each family lives different circumstances, where the personal experiences of each father and mother, as a couple, as individuals, their past, their resistance, their strengths, etc. also come into play. So it is important to be able to look at what things our they intervene in the day-to-day with the children, in the interactions, in the moments that make it more difficult for us what are the personal barriers that we have, and to discover those difficulties that prevent overcoming the situation. Learn to observe ourselves, see how we have been acting, if there is anything that we believe could be done differently, if something we have been doing so far contributes to the situation does not change.

It is important to keep in mind that the diagnoses that our children may have do not imply immutable behaviors, you should try not to label the children, not to blame as a cause of their behavior the one who has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, etc. You have to talk about them in relation to how they act or react, like children they are.

On the other hand, it is essential to keep in mind that the concept of behave It has an ambiguous meaning that does not specify what is expected of children. It is essential that children know what behaviors they can or cannot do, which also entails the danger of falling into giving multiple orders that are difficult, and even impossible, to execute, which could be “be still”, “don’t do that”, “do not bother”.

Although, sometimes, there are several behaviors that should be changed in children, it would be advisable to start with three or four rules on how to do things and, as they are introduced in the way they operate, add others gradually.

It is also essential to take into account what punishments we place on our children, since, on occasion, the dynamics of these consequences may be excessive or unlikely, such as “you are punished for six months”; so that the result is the opposite of what we are looking for, because why are you going to do things differently, if you are already punished for six months…? In addition, it is very important to keep in mind, when trying to modify their behavior, not to fall into the manipulation of their emotions with phrases as lapidary as “I don’t love you anymore”, “look at your brother how well he behaves…”

For children to realize that what they are doing is not the right thing, the consequences must be adjusted, first, to the evolutionary moment they are going through, and it is also important that they are related, as far as they are concerned. can, with what we want to modify, so that, for example, if you have broken something, you must pick it up and contribute to that object being replaced. Another aspect to keep in mind is that the punishment must be immediate and short, so that the next day you have the opportunity to start over from scratch and do things more closely to what is expected of him.

When dealing with everyday conflicts that occur at home, it is important to be able to look at what we are asking our children that we do not do, for example, in relation to the explosion of emotions: it is common to see parents in consultation they recognize shouting at their children to want to calm down, even reaching the physical aggression of the very misunderstood ‘educational cheek’, so that we are asking a child to have an emotional and behavioral management that adults do not have, reaching teach them that physical violence is a form of emotional control and getting the other to do what we want.

In addition, the concept of obeying is another that involves difficulties, because is it good to always obey? There are certain characteristics that bother you, such as those that do not obey, but should they obey everyone? All adults?

Sometimes what we believe is a defect of the child, it is not one hundred percent. In consultation you see cases of children who suffer abuse, often by someone they believe they should obey, as an authority, someone close to them or from the family, and they say nothing because they have been told to say nothing and obey . In that case, is it positive for the child to obey? There are children who oppose more, who protest, who are more critical… sometimes this is a nuisance, especially in the day to day with parents, but perhaps those children would not leave with a stranger, they would not allow a partner to assault, etc.

Society has never questioned how to train in occupational fields, but at some point in history the idea that educating children must be something “natural” was implanted and needing help was to admit parents’ ineptitude. The truth is that good parents are those who realize their mistakes, those who form, ask questions and ask for help when they need it.

Psychology Service

California University Hospital

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