With kids who are so insecure in their relationships and so unsure if they are worthy of love, correcting behaviors can get really tricky. Here are some things to remember:
- Relationship and connection are your top priority. If you have to up structure, you have to up the nurture.
- Weigh whether or not it is enforceable.
- Keep the fact that behavior is communication and you’re usually dealing with a “I can’t” not an “I won’t.”
- Don’t make decisions in the heat of the moment. Scenarios always play out better if you can take time to evaluate what is being communicated, which skill set was lacking, and how to regulate yourself so you can communicate about the situation without re-triggering your child.
- Whenever you deliver your decision, do it in a calm, compassionate manner that communicates that you’re on your child’s side. Avoid tones of voice that communicate shame and exasperation. Yes, much easier said than done.
- Don’t be dragged into the emotional entanglement and fallout that may ensue. Stay calm and hold your ground. The fire is fueled by your emotional response.